Mahala Lettvin

Mother of two amazing children and Paralegal
Masters of Arts in Cultural Studies at UW Bothell

I graduated from the UW Bothell School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program in Autumn 2012. Unlike most of my peers, I didn’t (and still don’t) have my life figured out as far as a chosen career. I do, however, plan on remedying that this Autumn when I begin the Masters of Arts in Cultural Studies program. For now I hold a variety of positions: a mother, paralegal for a criminal defense attorney, author, indexer, and house cleaner - all of which have been both greatly influenced and inspired by my time as a UW Bothell undergraduate.

Throughout my time in UW Bothell, I was afforded numerous opportunities that I would have otherwise not participated in. For two years, I was an editorial board member of the UW Bothell Policy Journal. I learned just how crucial it is to disseminate research: Without sharing what we know and how we know, there are very few ways to change the issues we learn about. Because of this realization, I became more involved in and out of campus: I presented my various research projects in 4 symposia – both at the Seattle and Bothell campuses; I participated in intensive research seminars; developed lasting relationships with faculty; and became involved in the publication of a scholarly book: Taking Risks: Feminist Activism and Research in the Americas (forthcoming: Suny Press) edited by Professor Julie Shayne. Not only can I call myself an author, I am also spending this summer indexing the book – a tedious process that I would be completely paralyzed by had it not been for the skills I gained at UW Bothell.

As I wait to start the cultural studies program, I continue thinking about what I will be when I grown up. What I do know is that regardless of whether or not I ever figure that out, my time at UW Bothell fostered a keen sense of awareness of the things I can do in this world.

Mahala Lettvin

American Studies '12