My name is Micaela Levesque and I am an Earlham Alumni. I am currently studying for my MSc (Masters of Science) in Creative Industry and Cultural Policy at the University of Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland. I am researching labour issues in the creative and cultural industries, specifically as it pertains to digital culture and user-generated content. My work lies in a niche between creative practice, policy, economics, and advocacy. Finding this interest and gaining the confidence to say what I want to do with my Earlham education wasn’t easy, but my experiences at Earlham brought me to where I am today.
At Earlham I studied theatre arts. The summer after my sophomore year, I was offered a research position on a collaborative research project through the theatre department. Guided by Professor Lynne Perkins-Socey, the team and I researched collaborative storytelling, ultimately focusing on communication within productions and important policies such as casting policies, intimacy direction guidelines, and developing an actor-student representative position.
For the first time, I saw how policy impacted the creative process and could make the work we produced better.
When I studied abroad in London through the Earlham Arcadia program , I took the independent research module that allowed me to conduct an independent study of theatre critics and gender bias in theatre reviews. That summer, I then used my Epic Advantage funding to attend professional theatre training through the Shakespeare and Company summer acting intensive. All of these courses and experiences helped me dig deeper into the theatre industry and begin to recognize the underlying issues that affect all creative work. During my senior year and after graduating, with the help of Professor Nate Eastman (the Earlham coordinator for Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships) and the Earlham Center for Career Education, I continued to apply for funding for master’s degrees and study for entrance exams to pursue higher education looking at policy and the structure of the creative industries. Eventually, those applications led me here. I feel quite confident after leaving this program that I will apply for PhDs in my field and that the tools I gained from Earlham have prepared me for this process.
The other day I was listening to a new podcast dissecting the internet culture around Homestuck when I heard the host, Michael Lutz, mentioned this “crazy place” he went to for undergrad where everyone seemed to be so engaged and so deeply invested in the world of their work. The description felt oddly familiar to me. A quick LinkedIn search confirmed my suspicion: this podcast was in fact hosted by another Earlham Alumni. Putting my experiences down on paper after leaving Earlham, I can much more clearly see the steps that led me to the field I work in now. At the time, I was just pursuing the things I loved! Taking part in clubs and seeking out opportunities, but always prioritizing engaging with the campus and Earlham community. I’m really grateful for the time I got to spend with the people at Earlham and the direction they pointed me in when I left.
*After submitting this article, Micaela Levesque is currently completing a sabbatical year as the VP Education for the University of Glasgow Students’ Representative Council where she is doing policy-based representation work and hopes to continue on towards a Ph.D. studying complaints and conflict in creative workplaces.*