Careers and Cultural Work Roundtable highlights cultural studies values in action

Alumni of the M.A. in Cultural Studies program returned to campus to share their stories about living the values of the program in their work, studies, and lives.  The roundtable discussion on “Careers and Cultural Work” highlighted the flexibility and applicability of cultural studies learning to multiple fields of endeavor, working inside and across institutions, sectors, and communities.

The roundtable featured graduates working in a variety of capacities and setting.

Kelsen CaldwellKelsen Caldwell (‘13) is an organizer, educator, and author who has worked, variously with Health Equity Circle, Housing Justice and LGBTQ Allyship, and the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites: they recently took the position of Field Coordinator for King County HIV/STD Prevention Department.  They stressed the importance of creating action from analysis via relatable language and stories.

Alexandra HolienAlexandra Holien (‘15) is Director of Business Development at Ada Developers Academy, a non-profit dedicated to diversifying the tech industry by race and gender by providing professional and technical training. Her professional and personal experience, together with her cultural studies training, enable her to  disrupt and reform biased practices and support cultural and economic equity.

Angelica MacklinAngelica Macklin (‘10) is an independent filmmaker and archivista (=activist archivist), a media producer with National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning at the University of Washington, and a doctoral candidate in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies.  She emphasized the centrality of collaboration and documentation as a community-building process, through endeavors like the Women Who Rock Collective.

Christine Straight (‘10) is program administrator and counseling services coordinator at the UW Bothell School of Business Eastside Leadership Center, and recipient of the 2017 UW Bothell Staff Appreciation Award.  She talked about listening as an essential value and skill that was nurtured through the Cultural Studies program, and which is core to her practice of working with and advocating for students facing structural barriers to education.

Over the course of the evening, discussion offered current students guidance on charting a pathway through their capstone projects, living by their values, and claiming the efficacy of their knowledge and degree.