Erika Kriechbaum ’09
Activities: Captain of volleyball team, president of Wildcat Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (WSAAC), Admissions Ambassador
All in the family: St. Kate’s is a family institution for Erika. “My grandma went here, and my great aunt is an alumna and a Sister of St. Joseph. I enjoy the environment of progressive, dynamic women.”
Choosing communication: “I took public speaking and I really enjoyed my professor, so I looked into speech communication as a major. It’s really versatile — job possibilities are endless and you use communication skills in every aspect of life.”
Interning on the airwaves: Through her Civic Participation Rhetoric course, Erika completed an internship with community radio station KFAI. She wrote and produced pieces for the station’s website and on-air programming.
“I put what I’ve learned to the test. I had to be self-motivated and look back on the things I’ve learned. I also learned to gather information and network, how to frame questions to get information I needed and how to target messages to a certain audience.”
A focus on women: “I’ve taken a wide range of classes here on gender and rhetoric, how society portrays women through language and how women use language. Language is powerful — learning to dissect it and analyze it makes you much more aware as a communicator.”
Global experiences: Erika traveled to Mexico in January 2009 for her Global Search for Justice course.
“Traveling to Mexico was a great, yet intense experience. I had been exposed to the concept of creating relationships of solidarity and I saw how as an individual, a consumer and a woman I play a large role globally. We are all interconnected — that’s what I really brought home. What I purchase, what I do and how I communicate affects not only myself, but groups of people all over the world. It’s my responsibility to keep educating myself and others about global awareness.”
Through the course, Erika planned her own internship. While in Mexico, she gathered four suitcases of jewelry and hand-woven palm baskets. She plans to sell them locally, with the proceeds going to women’s health organizations in Tlamacazapa, Guerrero, Mexico.
Future plans: “I want to work in the non-profit sector or maybe marketing or advertising.” Erika plans to eventually attend graduate school.