Meet Our Students and Alumni

Folklore students taking part in the Ireland Field School 2020
Folklore students taking part in the Ireland Field School 2020

Who Are Our Students?

Our program includes students from various academic backgrounds including English, anthropology, education, cultural studies, music, theater, and art. Program applicants are secondary school teachers, work for government agencies or cultural institutions, or are recent graduates of undergraduate programs. Students complete the program both part time and full time.

Alumni Spotlights:

Violeta Palchik

Palchik is Director of Folklife for Staten Island Arts. While at Mason, Palchik helped with programming for the Richmond Folklife Festival and directed NYC’s annual Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival. As Staten Island’s folklorist, she brings together the diverse communities of Staten Island through their food, music, art, and poetry.

Kimberly Stryker

Stryker (MAIS ’15) is an independent folklorist and recipient of the 2018 Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to document Virginia winemaking. Stryker teaches at Mason and is a frequent public speaker on topics of popular interest related to folklore such as holiday traditions, Mardi Gras, May Day, Wassailing, and the occupational culture of orcharding.

Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman

Cleto (MAIS ’12) and Warman (MAIS ’12) founded the Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic, an online program offering courses on fairy tales, folklore, writing, and related subjects. In 2019, Carterhaugh received the Dorothy Howard Prize from the Folklore and Education Section of the American Folklore Society.

Student Spotlights:

Claire Denny

Denny has a B.A in anthropology from the Catholic University of America. She interned at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. She is currently writing a thesis, “The Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum: A Case Study of a Tribal Museum in the 21st Century,” focusing on a museum on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.