Radka MacKillop is a Renaissance woman. A Mainer by way of Bulgaria, she is a scholar of both German and cinematic studies, a library volunteer, a former member of the television industry and a lover of the wilderness.

MacKillop was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. Before moving to Brunswick in 2011, she had a career in television broadcasting for the Bulgarian National Television Station. While there, she met her husband, who was working in the company’s Macedonia office. The  couple now has two sons.

MacKillop and her family fell in love with Maine after spending several vacations in Georgetown, about 20 miles from Brunswick. After years of traveling around for her husband’s work, the family settled down in Brunswick, a coastal college town where they could take advantage of the resources the College has to offer.

Although she has embraced life in Maine, MacKillop misses her friends and the vibrancy of a big city like Sofia. 

“There aren’t many opportunities here to sit in a café and talk, that’s the thing that I miss,” MacKillop said. 

Before she began working at the Bowdoin Store in August of 2016, MacKillop spent two years immersing herself in Maine culture and working at L.L.Bean.  

MacKillop said her favorite thing about her job at Bowdoin is the College’s community.

“My colleagues are very nice, understanding and helpful,” she said. “Communicating with young people is always fun, which is most of my work.” 

She has also enjoyed observing and participating in the campus’ efforts to be environmentally friendly. 

In her time here, MacKillop has noticed other commonalities among many Mainers.

“I like that there are many people that are not just trying to work 24 hours a day and make a lot of money but they are trying to balance [work] with having some time for leisure activities,” she said. 

In her free time, MacKillop volunteers at the Brunswick Public Library and audits classes at the College. MacKillop has taken Cinema History I and II, as well as courses in German. She is now in her third semester with the language. 

“I’ve always liked to study German but I’ve never found the time for it, so this was such a great opportunity to take a class,” she said. 

She spent years trying to teach herself the language, but without the structure found in Bowdoin classes, it was difficult to stay on track.

“I learned a lot from both the cinema studies department and the German department, I don’t have enough words to say how thankful I am and how much I am enjoying the classes,” she said. 

MacKillop enjoys being able to walk straight from class to work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and being part of the College’s community. Her favorite place to eat on campus is Moulton. 

“I like the Hungarian mushroom soup and the kale salad,” she said. 

While there are positive aspects about being in Maine, it is difficult for MacKillop to be away from the place she lived for so many years. “I miss that atmosphere of the big city, but at the same time I do enjoy the quietness. You can’t have everything.”     

MacKillop is looking forward to the summer months when she can go hiking in Baxter State Park and enjoy the Maine wilderness. For now, she is content knitting at home, listening to Tchaikovsky operas and watching movies with her sons.