Stacy Benjamin- Kultural Kurator
Pronouns - She/Her/Hers
Ethnicity - African American
Occupation - Director of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship
Place of Employment - Council on International Educational Exchange
Years in the field: 14
What global experiences have you taken part in when you were a student and/or a professional?
My first time abroad was on CIEE's Work in Britain program, which provided a temporary work permit to students. I found a job in a weird hotel in Notting Hill that was a bit like the British sitcom, "Fawlty Towers". I also studied abroad at Queen Mary College, and have lived in Scotland and Thailand.
How has Global Education impacted you and your career choices?
My first job after college was recruiting students for the program I took part in - like many returnees I was eager to spread the word. I then went down a different career path (in television production) but returned to international education as I missed doing work that felt more meaningful.
What do you enjoy most about the work that you do in Global Education?
It's a joy to encourage others to explore an opportunity that I know from experience to be so wonderful. I also think this field attracts smart, dynamic, empathetic individuals. I'm privileged to have met a lot of them as a 'road warrior' for much of my career.
What challenges have you had to overcome as you work in Global Education?
This is not a field that is well paid. In prior years, as part of a double income family, I could tolerate that. As a single person it's more of a concern.
How has your cultural identity impacted your experience working in Global Education?
My cultural identity affects everything, so finding it difficult to answer this question! I hope that my identity as an African American woman, a demographic that is underrepresented in study abroad, encourages others who look like me to explore these experiences.
How has seeing other people of color/diverse backgrounds in Global Education inspired you?
Immeasurably! I remember so vividly the day I met Starlett Craig - she was the first woman of color whom I'd met working in the field. She was dynamic, charming, gracious - a true legend. She made me believe that this was a career that I could pursue as well.
As a Kultural Kurator, what does culture mean to you?
I love that there is so much to learn from observing other cultures.
Self/Soul Care is important as we live our lives and do this work. How do you incorporate self/soul care into your life?
I walk, I dance, I call friends, I exercise sporadically, I pray. I start every day by thanking God that I am the daughter of Arthur and Dorothy Benjamin. That usually sorts me out.
What advice would you give a future Kultural Kurators as they think about working in Keep in touch with your network. Like every field, it's all about who you know.
How can others follow you on social media, website, and/or is there an email address that you'd like to share?