Katherine Thompson

Degree and Year: 
BA 2003
Professional Title: 
UNSW Matraville Education Partnership Coordinator
Employer: 
University of New South Wales

Professional Background: 
After teaching high school for six years in the US, I moved to Australia with my Australian partner. I have also pursued creative writing and editing, taking on freelance projects and submitting my own writing for publication. In Australia, I have worked for three years at the University of New South Wales School of Education, where my current role has me coordinating a partnership between the university and a local low-SES high school. I work with university students, high school teachers, parents and high school students to develop programs using the university resources that contribute to the high school students' educational success. We were recently featured on the Australian national news program "ABC 7:30 Report" and in the UNSW Magazine.

How has being an English graduate from Duke University helped shape your professional success?: 
Studying English at Duke gave me the creative and critical thinking skills I have needed to succeed in every job I've had, and prepared me to communicate with diverse audiences in a variety of modes and contexts (written and verbal). In Australia, the job market tends to be more pigeonholed - if you are doing a communications job, they want you to have a communications degree - but I know my English degree prepared me for communication-related roles in a deeper and more multifaceted way than meets the eye. The ability to interpret literature has stayed with me, but transferred into an ability to interpret the world that has made me, I think, a valuable employee, a good friend, and an understanding partner. I'm extremely grateful for my Duke English education, and its deep resonances in my life that continue today.