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Cultural Studies Alumni Profiles

Cultural Studies alumni have gone on to work in journalism, the arts, and a range of other fields, and they have also enrolled in a variety of graduate school programs. If you are a Cultural Studies alum, we would love to hear what you’re doing and share your news with other alumni. Please contact us at bdp@austin.utexas.edu any time!

Spotlight

Amanda Tufano

Amanda Tufano, MHA

Graduated Spring 2008
Undergraduate major(s): B.S., Radio-Television-Film, B.A., Government
BDP Strand: Cultural Studies/Race, Gender and Sexuality



Place of employment/title: HealthEast Care System, Operations Lead II

How did your Bridging Disciplines Program influence your current career path and interests?
The Bridging Disciplines Program set the foundation for me to problem-solve in a multidisciplinary way. Every day I deal with problems that are not one-sided, but multi-faceted, complex, system-related problems. My BDP helped me begin to look at an issue from every angle and fully consider all arguments before forming an opinion. Not everyone has this ability, but it’s a skill that can be learned and constantly honed. The best part about the BDPs is the opportunity to step outside of your discipline or thought process and begin to learn in a new way with a new focus.

In what ways did an interdisciplinary education prepare you for what you are currently doing?
After earning my undergraduate degrees, I pursued a Masters of Healthcare Administration. My MHA and experience helped earn me the job of Operations Lead at a multi-specialty clinic in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. I manage 20 non-clinical staff members from many different departments including: scheduling, reception, medical records, business office, and coding. The BDP in Cultural Studies is something that I use every day because I supervisor a diverse workforce and patient population. It has helped me provide education and feedback to my staff about equitable care for all patients. In the new world of healthcare reform, being able to analyze current problems and future solutions in an interdisciplinary way is incredibly valuable and timely to my work in primary care.

What advice would you give to current BDP students?
Always say “Yes!” to getting more involved. I served on the BDP Student Advisory Council for three years and the experience was invaluable. Taking those early educational opportunities to be more involved in the BDPs has led me to do the same thing professionally with leadership opportunities that arise. I never thought I would end up in Minnesota working in the healthcare field, but I love it and I fully attribute my success to the Bridging Disciplines Program.

Read on to hear about what other Cultural Studies alumni have been doing since they graduated.

Eliseo Jacob
Spanish, Graduated Spring 2007
Eliseo explored his interests in the performing arts and Latino culture with a BDP in Cultural Studies. He conducted original research under the supervision of Dr. Sonia Roncador on Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art, and he completed an internship at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. Eliseo completed his Master of Arts degree in Luso-Brazilian Literature and Culture from UT-Austin in 2009, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the UT Spanish and Portuguese Department. His dissertation compares the urban literature of Sao Paulo and New York City.

Edith Whitsitt
Studio Art, Graduated Fall 2006
Edith combined her Studio Art major with a BDP in Cultural Studies to develop her interests in the interplay between high and low art. As a BDP student, she interned at the Dougherty Art Center’s Burtridge Gallery and conducted research at the Texas Women’s Museum. After graduating, Edith worked at UT, maintaining the web sites for the College of Fine Arts and the Blanton Museum. She also curated an exhibition at the Dougherty Arts Center titled Serious Fun, and her work was selected for the College of Fine Arts’ juried Studio Show. Edith went on to work for a contemporary art gallery in New York. She then received a degree in Interior Design from Parsons The New School for Design and has worked on several dozen retail projects, both in the US and internationally.