Understanding the American experience offers opportunities in a wide variety of careers. Education, broadcasting & media, public relations, administration of nonprofits, advertising, the arts—recent American studies graduates have excelled in these and other fields. Companies that have hired graduates of the program include Hulu.com, New York City Department of Education, Pearson, Lead America, Unilever, and Sotheby’s. Schools selected by our recent alumni for postgraduate studies include New York University, Johns Hopkins University, and IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.
“Teaching has changed my life,” Stefanie Mircovich ’10 says. “The students I have met over the past two years have challenged me, inspired me, become my family away from home, and helped me grow more than I could have ever predicted.”
A summa cum laude graduate of Lafayette, Mircovich taught second grade in Baltimore for Teach for America and had an epiphany: “I realized that I wanted to have a career in education, but I wanted to participate in education outside the classroom.”
Empowered by majors in American studies and anthropology & sociology and her master’s in data-driven education from Johns Hopkins, Mircovich searched for educational jobs that used all her studies. She accepted a position as student achievement coordinator for Success Academy Charter School in New York City. The school offers free, high-quality education to low-income students, a group Mircovich wanted to assist after her undergrad volunteer work for America Reads and her tailoring her interdisciplinary studies to address social justice issues. She employs data to refer students for special education, meet classroom instructional needs, and support parents of students.
“People read about poverty, teachers, and our education system and make rash judgments. However, unless they are in a classroom every day, they cannot understand the challenges children from low-income communities experience,” Mircovich says. “Every day I understand these challenges a bit more, and I am beginning to see ways to overcome these challenges, from either my experience or observations of schools that are closing the achievement gap.”
Jesse Campoamor ’07 turned his American studies major into a deputy state directorship for central Florida for Service Employees International Union 1199, which represents workers in hospitals, nursing homes, and homecare. He coordinates PAC and voter registration activities, helps members meet with elected officials, organizes canvassing, handles recruiting, finds members to speak at union events, and helps create a successful lobbying environment for 350,000 workers, the country’s largest local.
“In my family we always valued fighting for the underdog,” Jesse says. “My life has been a commitment to improving the quality of life for working people.”
Now attending New York Law, Jesse believes in justice and securing a voice for the otherwise silent. “I organize workers to speak truth to power and demonstrate that although we do not have as much money as the 1%, we do have more bodies then the 1%, and can have a profound impact on the electoral process.”
As a volunteer, Jesse chairs the Quality of Life: Arts, Culture, Education, and Safety committee of Community Board 4 (CB4) Manhattan. At Lafayette, he started Youth Empowerment Day and founded Leopard Spots, which recruited college athletes as mentors for disadvantaged kids. Through CB4, he continues similar empowering work by helping urban children and their parents achieve a better quality of life.
204 Pardee Hall