Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Kathleen Gordon

Kathleen Gordon, MPA Student Ambassador

Kathleen Gordon

May 28, 2012

Kathleen Gordon MPA '12

Undergrad: Indiana University

Major: Political Science and French

Hometown: Marlton, New Jersey

What is your favorite place in Monterey?

I probably shouldn't give it away, but my favorite place to study is the corner cubbie on the far end of the second floor of the library, overlooking the parking lot. It gets great light, so it's nice and warm and it feels cozy to study in the corner with two windows!

Out around town, I love to go walking with friends on the coastal trail. It runs for miles and there’s always something to see: seals playing on the beach (and giving birth, though that’s not as pretty to watch!), scuba divers, weddings at Lover’s Point, and so much more. When the weather is a bit cooler I like hanging out at Café Lumiere, a little coffee shop by campus. It’s connected to an independent movie theater so it always smells like popcorn, but it has a relaxed atmosphere and is a great place to run into people.

What internships or jobs have you had while attending MIIS?

I had a 6-month internship as part of DPMI Plus (Development Project Management Institute), where I worked with an NGO in Haiti to assess, design, and implement a livelihoods business-training program. I also designed and completed an evaluation of the program. It was a great experience, and I got to live in a tent in Haiti for 6 months!

What are your career aspirations?

I am fascinated by natural disasters and the potential for rebuilding in areas which did not have many resources, even before they experienced a disaster. When I graduate, I want to work on managing development projects in areas affected by natural disasters. I hope to travel to and live in these areas for extended periods of time to be able to create effective disaster relief programs from the ground up.

Do you have a personal Mantra or quote you live by?

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fun fact about you:

My baking skills have been compared to those of Martha Stewart, a fact which my roommate and classmates benefit from on a regular basis.

If you were a food, you would be:

Soup! Soup has the potential to be anything you want: hot or cold, veggie or meat, blended or chunky…I like the variety soup offers, and whether it’s warm or cold soup I find it always warms the soul when you’ve had a tough day. I like to think I'm a little bit like soup: varied and comforting all at once.

What has been the highlight of your MIIS experience thus far?

The highlight was either being able to spend 6 months in Haiti or the group work. Haiti is the obvious choice, it was an amazing experience, but the group work stands out when I think back on my time here so far. I don’t think many people in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program would say that because we are constantly doing group work, in every class there is at least one group project. Yes, groups can be difficult and annoying, but I have learned so much from working in so many different groups. It has been something that I know will be invaluable in the work I want to do.

And one last thing:

Grad school can be frustrating and exhausting, but I think it’s a lot of fun. There’s a great mix of people in the school, with varied backgrounds, experiences and stories. We make time for fun.