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Featured Alumni

Katharine Travaline, STS MS Degree, 2008


Katherine Travaline

Q: Why did you pursue a MS in Science, Technology & Society?
A: I had attempted to pursue work as a scientist of various forms (first a primatologist and then a veterinary technician). I found myself confronted with bigger questions about the world - questions that I found could not be answered with other graduate school programs. STS gave me the opportunity to critically explore this world and the interplay between science, technology, and society.

Q: Thesis Title/Research Area?
A: My thesis is titled, Urban Agriculture: Enhancing Food Democracy in Philadelphia

Q: What are you doing now (where do you work, research, PhD program)?
A: After the MS program, I went on to pursue a PhD I recently earned a PhD in Environmental Policy at Drexel University, completing a dissertation entitled “We Cannot Do It Alone:” An Interpretive Policy Analysis of Urban Stormwater Governance.

Q: What challenges did find in the program?
A: I found the STS program very challenging as it introduced me to new worldviews and entailed the use of critical analysis skills that had been neglected in past education and work experiences. Many of the concepts and ideas were new to me so it was a lot to take in.

Q: What did you like most?
A: It encouraged me to think critically, share my opinions with confidence, and leave my comfort zone of accepting the world as it is presented. It provided a legitimate venue in which to examine questions that I felt were important to address.


Zen McManus, STS MS Degree, 2006


Zen McManus

Q:Why did you pursue a MS in Science, Technology & Society?
A: I pursued my degree in STS, because of the faculty. At the time I was swimming and taking courses in Political Science and History. After hearing about the program from Amy Slaton (and receiving some good prodding), I pursued a focus on urbanization and how cities shape us while we alter our environment and build more.

Q: Thesis Title/Research Area?
A: My thesis was a comparative analysis of Hurricane Betsy and Katrina and its impacts on New Orleans and the differences in response from the local and federal governments.

Q: What are you doing now (where do you work, research, PhD program)?
A: I am working as a part-time contractor to the government in the DC area.

Q: What challenges did find in the program?
A: I really enjoyed my time in the program. The biggest challenge was operating in a condensed schedule for my dual degree.

Q: What did you like most?
A: I enjoyed all of my professors and the format in which graduate courses are conducted. Being able to engage with fellow students and professors to discuss books and concepts in-depth was something I still miss today.