In September of 2021, Alyssa H. McDonald visited Goshen College for the first time. While chatting with Duane Stoltzfus in the Newcomer Center, she met Alyssa M. McDonald. 

It's gotten so bad that Alyssa H. has considered legally changing her name back to her maiden name.

Alyssa H. didn’t think much of it at the time, but now, a year and a half later, having two Alyssa McDonalds in the same school is causing more than a little confusion. Not only do they attend the same college, both of the McDonalds are in the communications department. 

Alyssa H. McDonald is a freshman journalism major, mother and works independently for a nonprofit.

To her, the best part of the communication department is the faculty. Specifically, she mentioned Duane Stoltzfus: “I can go to him with all my crazy ideas.” She explained that Stoltzfus will always seriously think about her ideas and tell her that they really aren’t so crazy after all.

Alyssa M. McDonald is a sophomore broadcasting major from Utah, a softball player and works for 91.1FM The Globe (WGCS). She runs a radio show and DJs throughout the day, and is also in charge of making sure news gets out both on The Globe and on its YouTube page.

Alyssa M.’s favorite part of the work she has done with the communications department is the way she has been able to immerse herself in the Goshen community, especially as an out-of-state student. She loves the opportunities she has had to tell other people’s stories through her work.

Both Alyssa McDonalds find that the most challenging part of their experiences in the communications department is balance: fitting everything that needs to be done into a day and still leaving time for rest.

On top of classes, Alyssa H. has a six-year-old daughter, a husband, an off-campus house and a job. She explained that although it can be challenging to be a mother and a student, her professors are always understanding and accommodating when something comes up.

Meanwhile, Alyssa M. balances working for The Globe, making videos and playing softball. She often struggles to find time for herself in the midst of her hectic schedule.

Not only do both Alyssa McDonalds have to balance everything most students do in addition to their unique lives, they also have to deal with the confusion of having the same name. It’s gotten so bad that Alyssa H. has considered legally changing her name back to her maiden name.

Alyssa H. has been using her maiden name professionally for years and had previously considered legally changing it back, and the campus confusion has made her think about hurrying the decision along.

Both McDonalds complained about getting each other’s emails constantly. They’ve tried telling people to look carefully at the email addresses (ammcdonald@goshen and ahmcdonald@goshen) and pointing out that they have different profile pictures, but nothing seems to help.

It’s not just students and professors sending emails to the wrong person that has proved challenging — the registrar and even the campus post have mixed them up.

Despite explaining that she lives off campus and never gets packages sent to campus, Alyssa H. still gets emails about Alyssa M.’s mail. And when Alyssa H. once tried to drop a class, the registrar told her she wasn’t enrolled. After 30 minutes of back and forth, they realized that she wasn’t Alyssa M.

Alyssa H.’s comment on the class-dropping incident summed it up well: “I gave you my ID!”