As part of the MA in Religion in Culture at UA, students attend a monthly colloquium designed to introduce them to community members seeking graduates with strong critical thinking skills. During these meetings, the Department of Religious Studies brings in individuals from within and outside of the University to share their experiences in the job market. Their presentations often focus on the ways that the tools each MA student is cultivating in their humanities courses can be useful outside of traditional academia.
It was because of this colloquium that first year MA student, Caity Bell, earned her position at Alabama Heritage Magazine. Caity applied for the magazine’s graduate internship after Associate Editor, Susan Reynolds, visited her cohort at one of these meetings in the Fall.
Started in 1986, the print magazine tells the often overlooked stories of local Alabamians who have shaped and continue to shape perceptions of the state. Since January of this year, Caity has been proofreading and fact-checking articles and has plans to begin contributing to the magazines’ blog and its printed column, which is written primarily by graduate interns.
Caity notes the similarities between her graduate research in Religion in Culture and Museum Studies to the real-world application of purposefully representing the past. Her position allows her to apply her critical thinking skills as she evaluates the way words can affect a readers perception. Through multiple edits and conversations with more experienced editors, Caity continues to learn the ropes of developing a magazine while simultaneously applying her knowledge of identity formations provided in the Master Program’s social theory courses.
The Department looks forward to encouraging future Master Students to similarly pursue opportunities provided by the University and the local community as Caity has.