MAM Leadership Updates

Member Feedback Wanted to Make Mensa Better

MAM members: Have you taken the Member Satisfaction Survey? Members have a chance to share their responses which is important feedback that could shape improvements in program, events, benefits, and the overall member experience. By participating in the annual American Mensa Membership Satisfaction Survey, we can help other Mensa members get the most from their membership. This survey is thorough and should take roughly 15 minutes to complete.

Now Accepting Submissions for the Summer Issue of YM2

The summer issue of Young Mensan Magazine will shine the spotlight on young Mensans making a difference in their communities. Don’t miss the chance to shine a bright light on how you are impacting the world. The summer issue is waiting for your passion projects, motivating missions, and dedicated driving forces! Please submit your story no later than March 1.

CultureQuest® XXXII Contest Rules are Available for Notice

Due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 outbreak, CultureQuest XXXII will take place virtually this year. Teams may choose whether to gather in person or virtually to complete the quiz based on each team’s local, state, and national safety guidelines. Teams may consist of up to five primary players and up to two alternates. Team members need not be from the same local group, but any prize money awarded will be paid to the Team Captain’s local group. The entry fee is $50 per U.S. team and $55 (U.S.) per Canadian team – payable at the time of registration.

CultureQuest XXXII Deadlines

March 31: Entry fee and complete team roster must be received
April 16: Last day to Add/Drop team members
May 2: CultureQuest XXXII!
May 17: Corrected tests and scores sent to Team Captains
May 31: Challenges must be received
June 7: Challenge rulings returned to teams
July 20: Winners announced in Mensa Wired newsletter

Nominations for National Awards Wanted

American Mensa needs volunteers; and volunteers need recognition and appreciation for their contributions. Please send nomination of members you feel are deserving of a national award to the National Awards Committee. Your nomination submission should describe in detail the reasons the member is especially deserving of a national award. The National Awards Committee reviews nominations only for service benefiting Mensa beyond the individual’s local group. Nominations close at the end of April.

World Gathering 2021

World Gathering 2021

Editor’s Note: Updated on April 4th, 2021, to reflect the most recent changes to this information.

Join American Mensa during August 24th – 29th for the 2021 Mensa World Gathering (Multifaceted Minds) which will be a celebration of cultural and intellectual experiences from around the globe — and it’s Mensa’s 75th Anniversary! You can connect with friends – both old and new ones – during these six days of talks, meetups, and special events. The 2021 World Gathering is to be held in Houston, TX, at the Hilton Americas-Houston instead of the Annual Gathering of American Mensa this year. This will be one for the books!

American Mensa was thrilled to announce recently that award-winning actor, accomplished director, and passionate advocate for children’s literacy LeVar Burton will join us as our Mensa World Gathering 2021 Gala Dinner speaker. You maybe grew up watching him as Kunta Kinte in Roots, as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation, or as himself for more than two decades on Reading Rainbow. Certainly, LeVar Burton has taken on many roles during his career and now he’ll soon star as our Gala Dinner speaker!

A Colloquium (Advances in Food Science) will be held the day before the 2021 World Gathering. Join us as we explore ongoing developments within our food supply, including gene-edited crops, plant-based proteins, nutritional breakthroughs, and agriculture’s escalating biological arms race. Our list of speakers includes: Dr. Haley Oliver, associate professor of Food Science at Purdue University; Dr. Steve Savage, an agriculture consultant, speaker, writer, and podcaster; and Dr. LaPorchia Collins, a professor of practice in the Department of Economics at Tulane University.

In addition, an International Board of Directors meeting will be held from August 22nd – 25th.

Sources of information for this article include:

2021 World Gathering

American Mensa News, Mensa Weekly Brainwave: September 29, 2020.
Personal Email — World Gathering Early-bird Rate Ends Jan. 31: January 22, 2021.

News & Notes

If you’re looking for love in February, then you’re in the right place. Mid-America Mensa (MAM) members love having good food, health, and interesting conversations with other MAM members as well as other people in general. Among all of the new and interesting things happening around Mid-America Mensa in February are a review of (and look ahead to) the Ad Astra Mensa meeting via Zoom; plus, Ethnic Eats and more about this year’s Mensa Foundation scholarship essay contest are featured.

On January 11th, Ad Astra Mensa (Topeka, Lawrence, and environs) met virtually via Zoom. Topics of discussion included the assault on the U.S. Capitol, the news media, the meaning of truth, the importance of seeing other people’s points of view, whether there is an objective reality, walking a mile in the other person’s moccasins, the Covid-19 pandemic and how people are coping with it, use of face masks and face shields, the manipulation and reliability of data, family, and the holidays. Long-time Topeka Mensan Dr. Irving Cohen announced forthcoming publication of his latest book, Fighting Covid-19: The Unequal Opportunity Killer. Advance orders of the book are being handled through a GoFundMe campaign with a copy mailed as soon as available (3-4 weeks) for a $20 donation. That URL is: Ad Astra Mensa will meet again virtually via Zoom on Monday, February 8th at 7:00 pm.

Also, in January, MAM members zoomed in to celebrate the New Year and winter season with a span of soups circling the globe; for example: a Thai basil soup from Whole Foods, Vietnam Cafe’s Pho Do Bien, a gumbo from Southern Kitchen, and a farm-style tomato soup partnered with grilled cheese sandwiches cut in more or less mathematically accurate triangles. Because February and Valentine’s Day go together, we’ll think of Valentine-style dishes from the various ethnic cultures we enjoy. Ethnic Eats will meet again next via Zoom on Saturday, February 13th at 1:00 pm. MAM members: Look for the details for this event in the February Mension.

Finally, in February, our scholarship judges will be busily scoring every applicant’s 550-word goal statement. Judging involves reading essays submitted by scholarship applicants and scoring them with points to determine the winners. For those who may be participating in this Mensa activity, remember: “It’s not just about rhetoric, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The judges look for evidence of capability, determination, and that all-important grit that scholars will need in tough times.” (RVC7 Rich Olcott) Judges may judge at either the local or regional level but may not do both in the same region. Good luck to all!

News & Notes

As the last hours and minutes of 2020 arrive and leave us for the new year of 2021, hopefully we are all looking ahead to a new year full of marked improvements. In a 2020 hindsight, it seems as if any change in the current state of affairs will be an improvement for most of us across Mid-America Mensa (MAM) as well as for our friends around the globe. Will the promise and hope of a vaccine for resisting the novel coronavirus and fighting symptoms of COVID-19 sustain us through early 2021 and beyond? Many of us think so, I imagine. What else is there that could possibly happen in and around MAM and the world to make our human lives better and not worse?


In January, let’s have a bit of an adventure; the theme will be soup and the challenge will be for each of us to choose one variety from whichever world region that inspires us. It doesn’t have to be homemade. It can be takeout from a local restaurant or procured by any other (legal) means. MAM members, check out your copy of the January 2021 Mension for all of the related, ‘sip and slurp’ Zoom meeting details.


If you or one of yours is looking forward to starting a course of post-secondary education, January is the deadline for Mensa scholarship applications <> and the start of the essay judging process. Because of the efforts of the Scholarship Chairs and all the Local Group and Regional judges who carefully score all those 550-word essays, and also for the contributions of our generous donors, American Mensa will once again ease education funding for more than 150 deserving winners.

In addition, MAM’s Local Group scholarship judging for the coming year will be conducted solely online. Luckily, last year we got some experience with the new and improved Mensa scholarship online judging process. Our whiz-bang scholarship national officers and staff took in all of our suggestions for improvement, and we’re looking forward to a smoother, more enjoyable process this year.


At this time, Mid-America Mensa has suspended in-person testing by our MAM volunteers, so we’re happy to see a new option available to those who are interested. The Private Testing program is a supplement to the Local Group testing program. We hope to resume our Local Group testing sometime in 2021, but until then, prospective new Mensa members should check out the Private Testing option.

News & Notes

The dark, dismal year of 2020 is slowly coming to an end. Can we all take a moment or two to reflect upon what has almost become history? After all, it is good to reflect upon past events to discover what they are worth and what we might be able to take with us into the new days ahead. If this web editor has learned anything about Mid-America Mensa in 2020, it is this: MAM is something to let everyone talk over and enjoy. It addresses new developments (maybe even those which divide us) original, recent, and those having operational longevity – not unlike those that each of us as individuals have. Let’s try to enjoy what we have and where we find ourselves as a gift!

It is the start of the holiday season, packed with holidays to bring friends and family together. This year we may not be able to travel or gather in person as we would like, but that doesn’t mean we can’t connect and have some fun! So, please join with us for Mid-America Mensa’s first ever Zoom Holiday Party on Saturday, December 19th, 2020, at 7:00 pm. (Check out your December Mension for details.) Come spend an evening with your Mensa family and friends old and new and share what makes the holidays special for you. We’ll have a laugh or three, get to know each other a little better, and maybe learn something new along the way.

Believe it or not, it is already time to start thinking about who will serve on the 2021-2022 MAM Board. The Nominating Committee is responsible for submitting a slate of officers at the Nominating Meeting to be held no later than January 15th. There is also an option to make nominations from the floor, but some stipulations apply, so it is important to review the requirements in the MAM Bylaws. If there is only one nominee for any position, the Election Committee will announce the nominee to be elected ‘by acclamation’. If there is more than one nominee for any position, the Election Committee will be responsible for conducting an election in accordance with the group Bylaws.

Finally, in order to make Mid-America Mensa a more welcoming place for all, we are developing a program to encourage more persons of color to consider joining Mensa. If you have any ideas on this topic, the MAM Board members would like to hear what you have to say. Contact us!

News & Notes

November normally is a month for giving thanks. We have a scheduled election day, Veterans Day for remembering those who have served this country, and of course Thanksgiving Day for being thankful. Still, the Mensa experience continues to change because of the social and economic disruptions resulting from this most recent pandemic. With this in mind, let’s take a look at what’s happening around Mid-America Mensa.

MAM’s new members are invited as our special guests for a casual and informative Zoom Room Party emceed by Local Secretary (& Master of Ceremony) Kim Jackowski. New MAM members can join us for this unique opportunity to:  meet other local members, introduce yourself, learn about what’s happening around Mid-America Mensa, and simply have conversation and fun. This virtual event is scheduled for Saturday, November 7th, 2020 at 7:00 pm and will last an hour or two. You can email any questions about our New Member Party, and please RSVP, to Jean Plumb at [email protected]. MAM looks forward to seeing all of our new members!

MAM’s Nominating Committee is working hard to select a slate of candidates for the 2021-2022 MAM Board. Please contact any of the committee members if you are interested in serving on the board. See the November Mension for additional notes about this topic. The proposed slate of candidates will be published in the December 2020 Mension.

Finally, private (or electronic) testing is a new, convenient way to take the Mensa Admission Test. In addition to Local Group testing and Prior Evidence submission, candidates for Mensa membership will soon be able to schedule a private test session at one of the more than 600 nationwide testing facilities available through a new partner, Prometric. Candidates will still sign up and pay for test sessions – both Local Group and private sessions – by paying a visit to: The fee for private testing is $99 and will not be subject to any of the standard discounts offered on Local Group testing. However, electronic testing does offer some candidates the flexibility to schedule admission testing when it’s convenient for them. Follow this link for more information about private (electronic) testing: