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What have you done since graduating and where are you now?
During my post-graduation summer I completed an internship in Washington D.C., with the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage working on the “Campus and Community” program for the Summer Folklife Festival on the National Mall. When I returned from the internship I accepted a part time AmeriCorps position through the Power of We Consortium and worked with Ingham County and MSU Extension on health and nutrition programming for at-risk youth. I also worked as a Program Assistant for the MSU Museum’s Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program and Michigan Heritage Awards. In January, I accepted a full time position as Program Coordinator with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, where I currently work.
How did RCAH prepare you for what you're doing now?
During my time in the RCAH I was very thankful for the many opportunities to engage with the greater Lansing community and apply my academic studies outside of the classroom. RCAH students are not just thinkers; they are compassionate and creative doers. Because of the flexibility within the curriculum, I was able to create a pathway that was unique to my academic, personal, and professional interests. It is in large part due to the community relationships that I built through coursework at the RCAH that I was qualified for the unique position that I now have at the Lansing Symphony Orchestra.
What were your academic interests in RCAH?
While my major was Arts and Humanities, I also minored in music and specialized in museum studies. Taking other pathways guided and supplemented my RCAH studies. My academic interests mainly focused on the relationship between music and culture, community and economic development, and community engagement through the arts.
What were your favorite aspects of the RCAH experience?
My favorite aspect of the RCAH was the ability to continue pursuing every passion that I have. As a fiddler, tap dancer, and creative enthusiast, it was such a relief to discover that I did not have to give up all the things I love to do, and instead could findways to incorporate them into my studies and projects.
Did you ever take part in Study Abroad/Study Away at MSU? If so, which programs?
In the summer of 2010 I had the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica with professors Scot Yoder and Vincent Delgado. While there I studied the ethics of eco-tourism and its effects on communities throughout the country, explored community development and engagement, and had a whole lot of fun. Pura Vida!
What words of wisdom do you have for current RCAH students?
Focus on building meaningful relationships, forever remain impassioned, embrace new opportunities, and use your creativity to empower those around you. When someone asks you what you are going to do with an Arts and Humanities degree, simply reply, “Anything I want,” because it’s true.