Where are they now? - Department of American Studies

Where are they now?
What CSUF’s American Studies
students are doing with their
American Studies degrees
Joe Birdsong
“American Studies was instrumental in helping me interpret and understand not only
society and culture, but also community, and the value thereof. Today I work for the
National Comedy Theatre, as head of youth programs. The lectures I received at CSUF
helped me develop our curriculum into one that promotes individuality, while still
instilling a sense of community, so our students help inspire and promote each other. It
more or less mirrors the experiences I had at Fullerton.”
Anita Rice
“Since graduation, I’ve been working as an Internal Communications Specialist for
Blizzard Entertainment, a global video game company [makers of World of Warcraft].
American Studies prepared me incredibly well for working in a culture industry! I am able
to plan, develop strategies, and write communications that will reach an audience who
work at the crossroads of gamer culture, geek culture, and part of a large imagined
community. I am also honored to work with my colleagues in Europe and Asia. Having an
awareness of ethnocentrism has made me a much better partner in global
Brittany Franck works for the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, training teachers to better engage
the students in their classrooms. Among other AMST students, Melanie Pyles is currently
serving the Peace Corps in China and Teresa Garcia in Jordan, while Patrick Heyer just
finished working for the Peace Corps in Senegal and Nathan Horton finished in Kyrgyzstan.
Megan Wagner (BA & MA) and Cynthia Bruns
(MA), reference librarians at Pollak Library
Megan reports, “In my interview, Cynthia
Bruns said that American Studies grads make
‘especially fantastic librarians’ since we are
such a diverse set of minds…. American
Studies trains graduates to ask critical
cultural questions, examine diverse
communities, and analyze multiple
perspectives. With such a multidisciplinary
field, I feel especially prepared to speak to a
variety of audiences and needs in the library.
American Studies not only changed the ways
in which I understand culturally-constructed
concepts like masculinity, social class, and
‘American Character,’ but helped me to
understand the process of cultural inquiry,
ethnography, and primary source analysis.
Critical thinking skills like these are essential
for the next generation student, teacher,
librarian, and any information professional -and have powerfully changed the person I
am today."

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