Alumnae Profiles

Many American Studies majors go on to pursue graduate study in related disciplines.

One recent honors student is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Literature at UC San Diego; another is pursuing a History Ph.D. at UNC Chapel Hill. Another recent alumna worked for the Teach for America program in Hawai'i and is now pursuing a law degree. As an interdisciplinary major, American Studies offers a high degree of flexibility and provides a broad and attractive range of skills.

Chanel Geter '14

I am originally from Detroit, Michigan, majored in American Studies and Sociology at Wellesley, and graduated in 2014 in a Purple class! As a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, my research topics spanned from the prison-industrial complex to African American identity politics, and my independent study research delved into African American sneaker culture and transgressive content in Seth MacFarlane adult cartoons. While at Wellesley, I was a Freeman Residence Hall residential life staff member, a member of CPLA, and an officer in Ministry to Black Women (now Black Women's Ministry) and Ethos. As the founding Comedy Appreciation Committee Chair, I collaborated with SBOG to bring Hannibal Buress to campus for Wellesley's premier Black comedy show in 2012. Additionally, I became a member of the Cambridge-based Xi Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., in 2013, for which I served as First Vice President, Internal Audit Chair, and National Convention Delegate. During my summers as an undergraduate, I interned with the Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interest in Business and Media.

I am currently a candidate for a Masters of Arts in Management (M.A.) from Wake Forest University. My decision to merge my liberal arts education with my desire to make an impact on the world through business has led me to my first full-time employment opportunity with Dell's Human Resources department, starting in Summer 2015.

Anna Weick '12

At Wellesley, I explored methods of reproductive justice and independent media activism in my American Studies senior thesis. In my junior year, I researched lesbian arts activism in the 1970s through an independent study. Following graduation, I first worked in the assisted reproductive technologies field, and now I work with the YWCA of Cambridge, MA, where I support our women's residential housing and shelter programs, organizational communications, fundraisers, and more. At the YWCA Cambridge, I have initiated an ongoing, revolving exhibition of local women artists, and I also assist with a re-launched Cambridge Girls Leadership program founded by City Councilor and former Mayor, Denise Simmons. In my spare time, I serve as an appointed member of the City of Cambridge's GLBT Commission, and I am a correspondent for the community media program, NeighborMedia, of Cambridge Community T.V. My American Studies degree allowed me to combine my passion for grassroots activism with my enthusiasm for community health and media. I am thankful for the brilliant professors and staff who guided me through my American Studies degree and shaped my praxis.

Kerry Knerr '12

After finishing my thesis on popular culture and the Texas Rangers (the fascinatingly racist police force, not the baseball team), I decided to go west, young woman. After several thousand miles of roadtripping, I ended up back in my home state and settled down in Austin, coincidentally around the corner from the Texas Rangers' headquarters. I worked some awful jobs, and then I worked some less awful jobs, and then I got into grad school. I am currently a second year doctoral student in the American Studies department at the University of Texas, where I primarily focus on the intersection of economic history, post-colonial cultural criticism, and food studies. My current project,which initially started in Prof. Grandjean's food studies seminar, focuses on the history of punch and early cocktails as products of American imperial culture; I will be presenting part of this research, "Institutionalizing the Bon Vivant: Reading Empire through Jerry Thomas's Cocktails," at this year's American Studies Association conference in Los Angeles. I also am starting future projects on historical memory in Tex Mex food in the 1930s and a genealogy of tiki culture as an articulation of American modernity. I also work with an organization on campus, Foodways Texas, to plan our annual symposium, which brings together academic researchers, local activists, farmers, chefs, distributors, and marketers from around the state to discuss current topics in Texas food culture. I also have three other jobs, because academia is cheap and Austin is expensive.

Emily Zia '10

I am currently a 2L at the University of California Berkeley School of Law, where I am studying a wide range of subjects from corporate law to critical race theory to poverty law. Prior to going to law school, I spent two years as a special education teacher and corps member with Teach For America in Hawaii, followed by a year as the project coordinator of a former Japanese American internment camp at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i. This summer, I will be interning at Goodwin Procter in San Francisco.