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Alumni Spotlight

Sam-Buffington-photo

NAME:  Sam Buffington
Major/Minor:
Ethnic Studies & Spanish major (’04)
Current Position:
  Director of Organizing for Frogtown Neighborhood Association, Frogtown, Minnesota

“My major in Ethnic Studies has given me the ability to see the structural racism that is behind issues from housing to policing to education.  This has enabled me to build campaigns for real solutions not just band-aids.”


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Name: Raisa Mathis
Major/Minor: Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies & Ethnic Studies (’12)
Current Position:  Administrative Assistant with Equality Ohio

“My time in the WS and ETHN programs have equipped me with the tools necessary to think critically about the world around me, and that has been invaluable to my work in nonprofits. Being able to see the ways in which my work impacts our company culture and society at large has been a tipping point when it comes to the positions I've held and the opportunities offered to me.”


Sheltreese-McCoy

Name: Sheltreese D. McCoy
Major/Minor: Ethnic Studies & Sociology (‘04)
Current Position: Social Justice Educator and Crossroads Coordinator and Ph.D. Student in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin Madison 

“Being an ethnic studies minor gave me an opportunity to study and understand people of color history, movement building, and identities in a way I never had before college. So, when I stepped into the world of politics and organizing, I had a strong foundation in community building, communal education, and social justice. This foundation allowed me to flourish in national organizing and as I build my career in higher education.”


schulman

Name: Lauren Schulman
Major/Minor: Women’s Studies minor & Political Science major (’13)
Current Position: Donor Relations Associate, ActBlue

My minor in Women's Studies made me think about the world in a completely different sense. It made me realize that we don't have to accept things the way they are, and that we can go out into the world and change things, just like the generations that came before us.”


Tamara-Serrano

Name: Tamara Serrano
Graduate Program: American Culture Studies (MA, '09)
After graduation: I worked as a Program Coordinator for a Bilingual Theater group for youth and children in Southwest Detroit, Michigan.
Current Position: Academic Advisor and a Program Coordinator, Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

I specifically oversee a program called the College to Career (C2C) program that assists underrepresented students with skill building around professional development and graduate school preparedness.

“I've always had a passion for Multicultural Affairs and ACS allowed me to truly understand and apply many of the theories and practices associated with cultural, ethnic and gender studies. Conversations around identity development, access to educational resources, and community empowerment are a daily professional and personal occurrence for me.  Through my experiences with courses, professors and peers in the ACS program, I feel I have the intellectual capacity to engage in these conversations and also help guide and empower future generations of Latinos/as and communities of color.”


Myc_Wiatrowski

Name: Myc Wiatrowski
Graduate program:
 Popular Culture (MA, '12)
After graduation: 
I taught in the College of Business and the Office of Multicultural Affairs while pursuing an MBA (BGSU, '13).
Current position:
 PhD Student and Associate Instructor of Folklore at Indiana University—Bloomington, Indiana

The POPC faculty and staff challenged me to think and write critically and provided excellent feedback to prepare me to become a scholar in my own right. The program encouraged my cohort to actively participate in the growth of the discipline, leading me to give multiple presentations at national conferences and to co-found both the Popular Culture Scholars Association and the annual Ray Browne Conference. The resources of the program and the school led to numerous networking opportunities with some incredible people, which has allowed me participate in the growing discourse on popular culture, furthering my development both as a person and an academic. Thanks to the motivation and stimulation provided by the department, I was able to parlay work undertaken during my MA into publications (including a few books that I co-edited with members of my POPC cohort), service positions with professional academic organizations, and the chance to pursue a fully funded PhD in folklore at Indiana University.”


Jared-Brown-Alumni-Spotlight

Name: Jared Clayton Brown
Graduate program:
 Popular Culture (MA, '13)
After graduation: 
I worked as a production assistant for the NBC station in Louisville.
Current position:  Web Producer and Assignment Editor for WDRB News, the Fox affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky

“My work as a Popular Culture major prepared me for my current career path in two ways. At BG, I specialized in television studies, so it gave me the opportunity to understand how the medium can both liberate and oppress various minorities. Much of my research informs my daily work. BG also prepared me for my career in that all the research helped me to understand how to ask questions in a manner that helps me to glean the most possible information when I work on stories.”


Abby_Van_Vlerah_bmhm3044

Name: Dr. Abagail Van Vlerah
Graduate program:
 American Culture Studies (PhD, ’13)
Current position:
 Dean of Students, Long Island University

“My ACS Ph.D. not only prepared me for interacting with and advocating for students of various backgrounds but also helped me create deeper connections with our faculty.”