February 10, 2020

Spotlight Series: Kathleen Seay, M.A.H.P. '20

Get to know Kathleen Seay, M.A.H.P. '20

Our spotlight series highlights a student or graduate of the Welch Center for Graduate and Professional Studies. We asked these individuals about their careers, hobbies, and what they love about their program.

This week's feature is: 
Kathleen Seay, M.A.H.P. '20
Board Member for the Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions (MAHDC)

What excites you most about your job/field of work? I love that the field of preservation touches such a variety of citizens, and it all starts as children with our understandings of identity and place. I have seen local education organizations in preservation and cultural resource management be able to inspire young people to take pride in their communities and connect to their heritage. It is a powerful tool!

What is the most interesting/unusual/challenging project you’ve worked on? For one of my courses I created and implemented a preschool-age story time all around historic preservation as the theme. It was a challenge to integrate the topic to engage the age bracket, but I found a way, which included a “paper-snail” craft to help convey the concept of housing sustainability.

What do you like most about your program? I love the connections I have made with faculty. I have been fortunate to work with and study under some dedicated and devoted professors who have helped guide me along my graduate school journey.

Melanie Lytle and Lauren Schiszik have been motivating me ever since I had them as professors. They encourage me to try new things and never be afraid to explore possibilities. That is how I ended up becoming a board member for MAHDC and going to preservation conferences. They always are inspiring students to discover ways to engage in the field and grow as individuals. They also really respect that students still have their own lives to manage at the end of the day alongside being a student, and that's so helpful! 

What is the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I’ve ever received is that life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. When I started graduate school, I was scared to continue my education and didn’t know if I could handle it. But I put my fears aside and am so glad I pushed through. I've learned so much and have set myself up for a better career path with this education.

What is your advice to individuals who are looking to pursue a career related to your program? Don't be afraid to explore unusual ways to engage in your local community. There are ways to volunteer and make connections with local organizations that participate in preservation or cultural resource work.