Comparative American Studies
Contact
Department Chair:
Wendy Kozol, Chair

Administrative Assistant:
Linda Pardee

Department Email:


Phone: (440) 775-8390
Fax: (440) 775-8644

Location:
King 105
10 N. Professor Street
Oberlin, OH, 44074-1095

Alumni

Alumni

BARTELS, Rusty '10
Since graduating from Oberlin I've begun a PhD program in Cultural Studies at UC-Davis. Here, I'm continuing to develop my research interests concerning race, the environment, American West, and American expansion/imperialism. My current project looks at Angel Island State Park as a militarized landscape, and how the representation of the military history contributes to narratives of the military as a national defense force rather than an imperial force. Eventually I'll be expanding this to look at how various National Parks and Monuments in the US States and Territories in and around the Pacific represent the US and its military history in the region. I'd be more than happy to talk to any CAS folks about applying to grad schools and interdisciplinary graduate work/academia!
E-Mail: rusty.bartels@gmail.com  (2012)

BASS, Sam '11
I teach Kindergarten at a charter school in New Orleans called Pride College Prep.  I teach at a charter school that was founded four years ago. The school just moved into a new building in New Orleans East, about 15 minutes from downtown New Orleans. It is grades K-5 now, and is adding a new grade each year until 8th grade.

An intern could help students as they work independently at centers and with general classroom activities. I also have students that could benefit from additional small-group interventions. Experience with children or in a classroom is a plus but not necessary.

Here is a link to the school I work at: http://www.pridecollegeprep.org/
Please contact me if you are interested in helping out or if you have questions about education in New Orleans!  srbass89@gmail.com  (2012)

BESHERS, Max '10
After graduating, I moved to Chicago where I worked in the foster care system as staff in a residential/group home for a year. I took some time off to travel and am now back in school -- in September I started my AM in Social Service Administration (equivalent to a Master's in Social Work) at the University of Chicago, expected graduation June 2014.

BLUESTONE, Sarah '11
After graduation from Oberlin, I worked in various immigration defense settings, including policy work and direct representation of immigrants facing deportation. I worked with LGBT aslyum seekers, individuals facing deportation due to contact with the criminal justice system, victims of domestic violence, and various other forms of relief. I am now a third year law student at UC Berkeley School of Law pursuing a career in Public Defense. I am currently involved in the Death Penalty Clinic where we assist in the representation of individuals who have been sentenced to death. Please feel free to reach out with any interest in pursuing a social justice legal career! (2016)

CAES, Amy '08
I'm presentlyin school for a Masters in Library and Information Science at University of Wisconsin - Madison. I'll be graduating in May, and then plan to move somewhere in the midwest or east coast with my partner. I'm running the LGBT Campus Center library, and am involved in the Jail Library Group (http://slisweb.lis.wisc.edu/~jail/), which provides library services to individuals in the Dane County Jails. I'm not sure if I'll ever be employed as a corrections librarian, but I plan to stay involved post-graduation. I'm also raising a guide dog, Promise, with OccuPaws Guide Dog Association (http://www.occupaws.org/).

CASTRO, Alma '10
Labor Organizing, first in santa fe NM And now in Chicago, IL

Through the Chicago workers collaborative, we can offer a verity of internship opportunities for Winter Term (January), Summer internship, or a Practicum. E-mail me at ACastro@chicagoworkerscollaborative.org if interested. (2016)

CERDERA, Pablo '15
I spent the 2015-2016 academic working in the Youth: Education, Advocacy, and Restorative Services program at the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, and have since moved back to my home town of Philadelphia, and am working in Museum education at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site. (2016)

COHEN, Kira '13
I am currently pursuing a masters degree in Social Studies Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, in preparation to teach history and politics to students in grades 7-12. Prior to this, I worked as a Student Advocate at a public transfer high school in Manhattan, and served for a year as part of Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps. (2016)

CONLEY, Eli '08After Oberlin, I moved to Oakland, CA and began working coordinating grassroots fundraising forCalifornians for Justice, a non-profit that organizes with young people of color for racial justice in the California public schools (caljustice.org). I've been an active volunteer with the Catalyst Project, an organization that works with white social justice activists to build our vision, strategy and commitment to racial justice movements. As of fall 2009, I'm transitioning out of full time non-profit work to start performing around the bay area as a folk/country singer/songwriter, and teaching private voice lessons from my home.   http://profile.myspace.com

CORDELL, Caitlin, '07
When I was studying at Oberlin, many people would ask me what I was able to do with a Comparative American Studies Degree. Well, that was the second question. The first question was, "What's that?" Surprisingly, I have been able to do a lot with my degree which has a focus on Identity and Difference.  I currently work for the YMCA of Greater Seattle. My position is Leadership Development Coordinator. I was hired because I had a lot of experience in youth development and because I had an extensive knowledge of diverse populations and communities in the United States. My employers were impressed with my ability to talk with young people about identity in a clear and confident way. My job allows me to create programs for at risk teens with a focus on leadership development. Right now I have a program that teaches young people business skills through selling their own art and crafts at local markets. I run a Teen Advisory Board where students learn how to be leaders in their community through service and team building. I also co-facilitate a series of mini courses at a local high school that uses experiential learning to get students thinking about how they can have positive impact in their community. Comparative American Studies classes and professors have all had a great impact on the way I conduct my programs at work.

CAS students will find many experiences in the area Leadership Development at the Y. We serve teens in a lot of capacities and there are many ways we are not able to serve them due to lack of staff and money. This is why an intern would be greatly helpful. Our programs go from in depth leadership programming to recreational programming. We have summer programming as well, where we teach young people about service, healthy living and leadership. Interns can choose to join in our programming or work individually on a separate project that serves teens at the Y. CAS students can expect to use their knowledge of identity, privilege and oppression while teaching young people real life skills. They can also expect to learn more about issues of oppression that face teens in the greater Seattle area.
ccordell@seattleymca.org

CORTES, Katrina '14
Worked two years for Americorps Public Allies New York, doing housing organizing with GOLES Good Old Lower East Side (preventing people from being displaced in the Lower East Side, New York). I recently got a job doing direct services with the New York Public Library which I am extremely excited about. In my free time I am developing myself as a musician, performing at open mics, and have been organizing with various collectives. One is called Anakbayan New York, and they sent me on what is called an Exposure Trip to the Philippines during an international conference called the International League of Peoples Struggles, where organizers from all over the world came together to strategize how to combat the violence of imperialism. I also am part of the Jackson Heights Cop Watch team, also a collective organization in my hometown that educates people about their rights and documents police violence in the neighborhood. (2016)

Winter Term (January), Summer internship, Practicum, Research Assistant possibilities: Introduction to community organizing, leftist organizing, direct services, and anti-gentrification movements, international solidarity. 
I can be contacted via email at corteskb@gmail.com

DOMAGUIN, Daniel R. '06
I'm currently the Youth Center Therapist and Health & Fitness Educator at the San Diego American Indian Health Center, serving urban American Indian & Alaska Native youth between the ages of 9-22.  My primary responsibilities include: individual/group/family therapy, crisis intervention, academic counseling, physical fitness programming (including a weekly martial arts class), and proper nutrition education, utilizing traditional nutrition models from different tribes.  CAS teachings permeate my practice and the activities I get my kids involved in.  For example, I had my youth take part in the Day of Action to Defend Public Education protests here in San Diego, including making speeches (http://sdaihyc.blogspot.com/2010/10/they-say-cut-backs-we-say-fight-back.html) and creating a YouTube video addressing how the cuts directly affect them (http://sdaihyc.blogspot.com/2010/09/what-is-happening-to-our-education.html).

I'm also involved in health advocacy outside of work.  I am the co-Health Program Coordinator for the Filipino American Arts & Culture Festival, or FilAmFest.  In this role, I oversee different organizations from around San Diego County who help educate the Filipino American community in practices of wellness and prevention of disparities.

In my spare time, I've learned how to crochet a hat, bead bracelets on a loom, and lindy hop/jitterbug at a moderate tempo.

FRANCISCO, Melissa B. '05
After graduation, I interned at the Voices That Must Be Heard, a non-profit supporting local community and "ethnic" media. I also worked with GABRIELA Network in New York, a grassroots feminist solidarity organization.  After that, I was a legal assistant with the ACLU's national Racial Justice Program, helping with litigation and advocacy related mostly to airline profiling, juvenile justice, and "the school-to-prison pipeline."  I then became a litigation paralegal at the plaintiff-side employee rights law firm Outten & Golden LLP, where I worked with women and low-wage workers in numerous discrimination and wage & hour class action cases. (2012)


FEUSTEL, Jane E. '06
After graduation I joined Colorado Progressive Coalition (CPC) as a one of the lead get-out-the-vote organizers on the successful minimum wage increase campaign and coordinator of the Women's Voices, Women's Vote project. In that role, I did door-to-door outreach to women in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color throughout Aurora, Colorado. Since the 2006 election, I've been working at Colorado Progressive Action, the lobbying arm of CPC, working on various social justice issues including racial justice, voter education/outreach, economic justice, and ending the war in Iraq. I have also been involved as a member of Luz Reproductive Justice Think Tank in Denver. In this group I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet and work with amazing folks. Luz is a space where we can provide support for each other, dialogue about how the intersections of oppression affect us and our communities, and create action to implement a reproductive justice analysis in our communities and throughout Colorado.

More on-point Obies should move to Denver !!! You can stay with me until you a find a place of your own (or just come visit).

GARRETSON, Dorothy B. '08
Since September of 2008, I have been an Americorps VISTA at the Community Mediation Center in Columbia, SC. I recruit volunteer mediators and do community outreach. (I am now in my second year in this VISTA position.)In my free time, I am a referee for the Richland County Regulators, a local roller derby team. I also do activities with the SC Progressive Network and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Columbia.

FORTUNATO, Amelia '10
After graduation, I moved to Chicago and worked as a union organizer with Unite Here Local 1, organizing food service and airport concession workers full-time for 3+ years. I left the union to pursue graduate school and after taking classes at the University of Chicago through the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, I moved to NYC to start my PhD in Sociology. I am now a second year Doctoral Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center studying the intersections of racial justice organizing, the criminal legal system, and the American Labor Movement and living in Brooklyn, NY. As part of my fellowship, I also teach undergraduate courses at John Jay College for Criminal Justice. I use the teaching strategies I learned from the amazing CAS faculty at Oberlin in the classroom with my students everyday. Shoutout to Professors Gina Perez and Meredith Raimondo! (2016)

GRABER, Anna '07
I am waitressing and teaching preschool at the Urban Arts Academy in Minneapolis.

Hardy-Gerena, Giordano '11
A few things have been occupying my time. Intially, I worked as a community organizer for non-profits in the DC area. Learning about the undocumented rights movement and fight for affordable housing was fantastic! While I enjoyed the work, I struggled with one aspect. These organizations felt more accountable to sponsors (i.e foundations) than folks they purported to empower. I stepped away. Having never studied abroad (ignoring sage advice from Professor Gina Perez ㅠㅠ), I decided to teach English in South Korea. My students range from angelic to mischevious and ages 5 to 10. I have been here for a year and a half and plan to stay a while longer. Graduate school is calling me, but I am not sure which field. American Studies, perhaps? ^^ (2016)

HAYDEN-MOY, Anna '09
I started working with an Americorps program in Austin, Texas at the beginning of September. The program is called Americorps for Community Engagement and Education, or ACEE. With this program I tutor one-on-one with kindergartners in 2 bilingual (Spanish-English) classrooms at Andrews Elementary who are performing at a lower level in their basic literacy. It's a great program for any majors hoping to get some experience teaching or working with literacy (there are English language tutors as well)!

HOFFMAN, Rick B. '05
I just completed a PhD in Sociology from the United Arab Emirates University and am currently a Senior Executive in the Employee Happiness Department at the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority. I also direct an all adult cheerleading team called Cheer Dubai. (2016)

KERENSKY COODLEY, SCOUT '13
I'm working at the Brookyn Botanical Garden as a science instructor. I'm and active member of the Crown Heights Tenant Union and the Maple Street Community Garden. I am considering a master's in forestry or ecology. I would to be in touch with other radical educators and folks with experience working in or learning science/outdoor Ed/STEM. (2016)

LEEMAN, Julia  '09  
6th Grade Math Teacher at a Middle School in Oakland, CA (2016)

LEVINE, Dani '06
After graduation I moved to San Francisco to do environmental justice work, where I ended up meeting my now wife.  We moved to New Orleans (her hometown)in January of 2009 where I received my Masters in Environmental health and Policy from Tulane School of Public Health.  After doing policy work for the City I decided to leave government and for the last year have been running a non-Profit in New Orleans called AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps.  Our mission is to to strengthen the Jewish community's fight against the causes and effects of poverty in the US.  We do this by engaging participants in service and community-building to inspire them to become lifelong leaders for social change whose work for justice is rooted in and nourished by Jewish values.


I could us a short term intern to help with our social justice curriculum development, specifically helping to research community organizing leaders in New Orleans that would be interested in speaking with our AVODAH corps members.  I could also use assistance with recruiting partner non-profits in New Orleans.  email me at dlevine@avodah.net  (2012)

LINGAT, Joelle Eliza '14
Law school!
Winter Term (January), Summer internship, Practicum possibilities: Working with grassroots community-based social justice organizations on campaigns work and organizing. Email me at joelleelizalingat@gmail.com or 2016758278.

MEINERT, Kim '07
Homepage URL: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberley-meinert-83155a9
After graduating from Oberlin in 2007, I:
--worked for two years at Free Clinic of Southwest Washington helping to develop and implement Project Access Clark County, which is a coordinated system of donated specialty health care services for low income uninsured people living in Clark County, Washington.
--worked for four years at Oregon Department of Human Services as a case manager for families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash assistance, which solidified my passion for public service and for the implementation of anti poverty measures to help low income families move towards socioeconomic mobility.
--served on the board of directors for three years at In Other Words Feminist Community Center, where I developed a love for Twitter and for intersectional feminist community organizing
--attend the Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, where I earned a Master of Public Policy degree, and where I became the proud owner of many pairs of long underwear.
--completed a graduate internship at the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice, and Opportunity which is housed in the Domestic Policy Council at the White House. It was during this time that I acquired and wore many pantsuits.
--am currently working at the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where I serve as a Confidential Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. I wear a pantsuit every day. (2016)

MERAZ, Darin '10
I'm an AmeriCorps Member with NEO Literacy Corps.  I'm doing a second year of service at Cleveland Housing Network, where I've moved from tutoring GED/ABLE students and teaching financial literacy classes to coordinating tutors for the GED/ABLE students and developing a small business/self-employed client workshop on profit and loss statements.  I'm looking at grad schools and a dance trainee/apprenticeship program for next fall. (2012)

MEYER, Ilyssa '13
After Oberlin, I studied public policy and received my masters degree from NYU Wagner. I am a Public Policy Analyst at Etsy, and live in Brooklyn. (2016)

NEWBERGER, Barrie '07
I
spent a couple years working as a paralegal in non-profit law offices: first at an office in Charleston, WV, that represents low-income homeowners in suits against banks and mortgage companies that are practicing predatory lending; then at an office in Berkeley, CA, that represents people who are being sued for defamation after speaking out on an issue of public interest (think citizens who speak out against polluting power plants or mining companies). Now I have finally made my way to law school so I can continue similar work as an attorney, hopefully as a public defender or doing prisoners' rights/sentencing reform work.  Keep up the good work - the CAS department changed my life.

RICHARDSON, Natt '11
I'm currently working for a non-profit organization in Managua, Nicaragua called CANTERA (http://www.canteranicaragua.org) as a volunteer sent by the Franciscan Capuchin Corps (http://www.capcorps.org/). I work in a community center called la Olla de Soya in barrio Jorge Dimitrov in Managua, where I teach English classes to teenagers and adults, help run a group called Jóvenes Comunicadores (Youth Communicators), and help maintain a community vegetable garden. I'll be here until December 2013, upon which I'll probably return to the United States and... who knows? (2012)

ROGERS, Mia '14
After graduating from Oberlin, I went to graduate school at the University of Maryland - College Park and received my Master's degree in Higher Education. I now work at Hamilton College in Upstate NY as an Assistant Dean of Admission and the Coordinator for Diversity Recruitment. (2016)

ROZENDAAL, Isabelle '11
I was in the class of '10 but ended up graduating in 2011. I teach Suzuki violin at the Chicago West Community Music Center and perform on violin and baroque violin in various ensembles in the Chicago area including Baroque Band, the Callipygian Players, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, Park Ridge Fine Arts Symphony Orchestra, and the Chicago Bach Ensemble. I have also been teaching yoga, traveling the world, learning french, and perfecting my chocolate chip cookie recipe.

SALAZAR, Lauren '09
Hello Current and Former CAS-ers! After graduating Oberlin in May of 2009 I drove across the country back home to California (with some stops in Chicago, Minneapolis, Glacier National Park and Seattle) and at the end of July 2009 I moved to Lima, Peru. I studied here for 6 months on my study-abroad and decided to return for a while until I apply for Grad School. I am living with my boyfriend in a lovely apartment near his family's house, and I am working as an English Teacher at a small school (1st grade to Juniors in high school) and also teach private classes (including TOEFLS and GRE) in the evenings and weekends. It has been an adventure settling in, but nothing too hard to handle. I am planning my return to the US in April 2011 hopefully to begin a Master's in Public Policy in the Fall of 2011If any Obies (or friends of Obies) need some orienting to Lima while on vacation or soul-searching travel, I'm certainly available. Best wishes to all!

SAWYER, Charlotte '13
I am currently pursuing a Master of Public Health at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education. Prior to starting my master's program, I taught English in Spain and served as the mobile harm reduction services coordinator at a syringe exchange in Washington, D.C. through the Global Health Corps fellowship program. (2016)

SCHRAG, Sarah '11
Teaching high school English in Newark, NJ. About to begin year 6!

I teach at a charter school in Newark, and if anyone is interested in learning more about this experience, I could see if my school could use a "teaching assistant" or another volunteer role so that a CAS major could gain experience in this field. Winter Term (January), could potentially have someone shadow me if they are interested in teaching. If interested please contact me at sarah.lerman.schrag@gmail.com (2016)

SCHREIBER, Sarah '05

After graduation, I began working at Bike Out, a group offering physical health & wellness programs for LGBT youth in Los Angeles. I lost my job when we lost all our funding (yes, CAS students, it happens in the world of nonprofit!) but organized successfully with a group of former staff & volunteers to make sure our programs would continue. They are now happily housed at LifeWorks Mentoring www.lifeworksmentoring.org, where I still volunteer to lead bike trips for baby queers. I'm currently working as a Program Coordinator for Youth Mentoring Connection www.youthmentoring.org, a group running innovative & effective mentoring programs for teens in South Central L.A. I volunteer with AWARE awarehome.blogspot.com, a local white antiracist group, as a member of the facilitation team and the organizing workgroup. I also completed a fellowship with Public Allies www.publicallies.org somewhere along the way. I am grateful for all of my experiences at Oberlin and beyond, and I look forward to 1) always learning and 2) figuring out grad school: the next frontier.

SOUFFRANT, Kantara '08
Since graduating from Oberlin I: spent a year working at Oberlin College as the Africana Community Coordinator in the Multicultural Resource Center (2008-2009); completed my Masters in Performance Studies at NYU Tisch School of the Arts (2010); and am currently pursuing my PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern University. In between all of this wonderful and challenging work I've been curating as well as producing installation art and performances in venues throughout Chicago and and New York City. (2012)

SWAIM, Allison '10
I am going into my second year of teaching "American" History at Riverside High School in Durham, North Carolina . By "American" the state really means U.S., but I use their mistake as an excuse to bring in narratives from Central America. This is relevant to my predominately Latinx student population. I also teach several sections of sheltered ESL "American" History 1 to young people who have recently immigrated from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Our school community has been impacted by ICE raids in the last year and I have helped form a state-wide coalition of educators and community stakeholders. Together we are fighting for our students' right to feel safe and free in our communities. I would love to connect to other CAST alums who have found their way into public school teaching -- especially anyone who teaches "American" / US history. Please get in touch -- allison.swaim@gmail.com -- and we can share ideas & resources.

I spent the past year on a Watson Fellowship, circumnavigating the globe by cargo ship and stopping at global ports en route. I collected sound, image, and text to bring back stories of modern-day sailors, who spend much of their lives in a world where the maps detail water and show land as a blur. I witnessed a fascinating cross-section of a global migrant worker economy... and saw the privilege of geography play out in an international work context, outside of national boundaries, among workers of different rank and background-- i.e., the dynamics of a Greek captain commanding Filipino officers. I'm currently working with terabytes of footage I brought back to produce audio, video, installation and text-based documentary work to tell the story of these workers who are crucial to keeping the global economy moving.

I am bringing collaborators into my documentary project about sailors, a transnational bunch of workers who spend much of their lives at sea, in a tiny, isolated world-- a liminal space outside the supervision of international law.  I can offer internships in documentary production to students of any background and experience. Jobs will differ depending on students' expertise, but may include: transcribing interviews, researching topics like international maritime law (a fascinating subject!), video editing, help with marketing/PR. I'll mix in plenty of fun jobs with the not-so-fun ones. A significant part of the internship will include work on students' own documentary project. This could mean taking materials I've collected and create their own piece/response-- using video, audio, music, visual art, or text. Or, work on a piece with topic of their own choosing. I will offer editorial support and connect to resources and networks i am a part of.  I will be in Oberlin during Winter Term, so this project will take place in Oberlin.

Email me at allison.swaim@gmail.com, and/or call me at 704 647 1479.  (2012)

THOMAS, Shannon '09
After I graduated in 09, I spent two years teaching kindergarten in Qingdao, China. I returned to the states almost a year ago and am now studying for a masters in public administration at the Monterey Institute of International studies.

THOMAS, Syrea '11
Trauma informed therapy with juvenile offenders. (2016)

TUYET, Ngo '10
Since leaving Oberlin, I enjoyed a relaxing summer, traveling within the U.S. to visit family and friends. This past fall, I moved back to Oberlin to take on a temporary part-time contract position working at Asian Services in Actions, Inc. (ASIA). At ASIA, I conducted community outreach around health information and services, targeting the Vietnamese population in Cleveland and surrounding areas. My contract ends mid-December. While working, I have also started the graduate school application process. I am applying to various schools of public health with the hopes of earning a Master's in Public Health, with a focus on improving the health of underserved communities.

YAPALATER, Sophia '13
After returning from a Fulbright ETA in Turkey, I worked at the ACLU for two years as a paralegal with the Immigrants' Rights Project. Now, I am attending a post-bacc pre-med program at Goucher College. (2016)

After graduating from Oberlin, I worked for a variety of nonprofits in the fields of health, fundraising, and social services. I completed a Masters of Public Administration at Baruch College (part of City University of New York) in December 2008. Since then, I have worked at New York Road Runners in a program dedicated to fighting childhood obesity and also did some temporary research projects for an economics professor at Baruch and also at the United States Fund for UNICEF. I am currently a doctoral candidate in the departments of Sociology and Community Medicine at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, where former Oberlin College President Nancy Dye works as the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education."