Williams-Mystic Fall 2008
Smith College ’10: American Studies major; Marine Science & Policy minor
Williams-Mystic Skill: Blacksmithing
Favorite Williams-Mystic research project: “The women who wait: The female archetype in literature of the sea”
“I read poems about the Mississippi River while sitting on a levee looking at the brown waters of that very same river. I compared the sea stars and crabs that lived on the east and west coasts by touching and holding them in my hands. I read about what it was like to sail a ship while I grew callouses on my hands from hauling on lines to raise a sail. And the most beautiful part of that kind of life is that the connections are endless – both academically and with the special group of people you share those experiences with.”
Katie Clark is the Coordinator for the Center for Innovation and Leadership at Swarthmore College. She helps college students develop their leadership skills by bringing innovative speakers to campus, running workshops on topics like professionalism and group dynamics, and matches students with alumni mentors to help further their goals.
“I use skills from my Williams-Mystic semester every day – trying to help students think about their ideas from new perspectives and to draw inspiration from unlikely places.”
BETWEEN THEN AND NOW:
After graduating, Katie was a Trustee and New Graduate Director for the Alumni Association of Smith College. She worked in admissions at Williams-Mystic for three years and then returned to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a Master of Education (M.S.Ed.) in Higher Education Administration. Katie worked with Advancing Women in Engineering at Penn to support women engineers in all aspects of their experiences in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
“I not only spent a semester as a student at Williams-Mystic but I was fortunate enough to spend three years there as a staff member. I began my professional career in student affairs in Admissions at Williams-Mystic and realized that working with students was what I wanted to do with my life.”
“If you want to learn how to change the world, Williams-Mystic is an incredible place to start. My time there taught me that if I wanted to make change or solve a large problem that it could not be done in one sector. While we studied the oceans for 17 weeks, we were really studying how the world functions. Politics, science, literature, art, history, craftsmanship, and law are all a small slice of the puzzle that we need to understand the full scope of an issue or challenge. I left Williams-Mystic knowing that while I might not have all the answers; I know the approaches to take to find the solutions.”