Theresa Malloy, 2013
As a working journalist, I tap into what I learned in the American Culture and Difference program daily, as I push through to find deeper stories that others glaze over. I have spent time reporting on some serious social issues such as domestic violence, and I challenge myself to report through a different lens - what does the perpetrator experience? I hope my reporting broadens the conversation.
Ben Nebo, 2008
Ten years ago, American Culture and Difference (ACD) professors and classmates exposed me to questions about a powerful force that determines our relationship with the world--culture. The pursuit of answers to these questions challenged me to make contributions to our world. After attaining an ACD minor, I continued my education at the Monterey Institute of International Studies as a Master of Public Administration candidate concentrating in International Management and Mandarin Chinese. The analytical, critical thinking, and writing skills emphasized in all ACD courses helped me to complete a rigorous advanced degree program.
When I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer promoting mutual understanding in rural Malawi, my understanding of American history, folklore, and myth-narratives proved indispensable. The ACD minor also prepared me to embrace diversity while managing programs that provide job placement and vocational training assistance to recent immigrants, gifted adolescents, and the long-term unemployed in New York City. As I transition into a Foreign Service Consular Adjudicator appointment with the U.S. Department of State, I will continue to transfer my knowledge of American Culture and Difference to my work. The ACD minor will help me better serve the American people abroad by enabling me to ask questions that challenge prevailing assumptions. My relationship with the world has been enriched thanks to my association with the American Culture and Difference program at the University of St. Thomas.
Adam A. Maikkula, 2007
I started working in technology sales after graduation and realized that it has been beneficial having a better/deeper understanding of the world we live in after participating in the American Culture and Difference program. The fact that the program is interdisciplinary helps give you a well rounded world view which comes in handy when interacting with a variety of different people and situations day to day. I find that having the ability to talk about a variety of different topics really helps break the ice and develop relationships by having at least a basic understanding of many topics that affect the culture(s)/society I/we live in. It is pretty common that people think I was a psychology, sociology, political science, history, or English major since we studied all of these subjects (directly and indirectly) in cultural studies; I was really an entrepreneurship major with a minor in ACST. I would say the cultural studies program is the millennial generation's History major. I expect it to have a positive influence when applying for grad school because it encapsulates such a vast variety of subjects/knowledge which I believe is important in the world we live in and will continue to be of value throughout the future.
Riley Abbott, 2006
I find myself in Washington DC looking for continued work in International Development. I've just returned from a 27 month service with the Peace Corps in El Salvador. There I worked in Municipal Development and community organizing, increasing citizen participation and strengthening civil society groups as well as institutions. It was exhilarating work and I want to continue it.
My great education from St. Thomas and the American Cultural Studies program was in no small part helpful for me in my ability to do such things.