Profile: Katie DeCramer ’12

Pamela London

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Profile: Katie DeCramer

Class: Senior

Major: Politics with Spanish minor

Hometown: Mendota Heights, Minn.

Credit: Chaoyu Li

“You would think she was beaten, but really she’s a badass.”  – football teammate Hayley Falk ’12

What first brought you to Whitman?

Whitman was the last school I visited, and I just had a really good visit. I was really impressed with the students and the classes and just the general kindness and sense of community.

How did you get involved with flag football?

I’ve always played sports, so this wasn’t the first sport I’ve played. [I played] varsity basketball throughout high school. I really like contact sports.

What position do you play?

Center, offensive line  and sometimes [defensive] line.

I hear you have an interesting story from your freshman year about cookies and a broken nose.

(Laughs) My first semester I played one and a half games and then broke my nose. I was playing d line, and I smashed my head against another person’s head. Spent the afternoon in the ER with a teammate; then I came back to my room and found that the other team had come to see how I was doing and brought me freshly baked cookies. For that to happen in the first three weeks of school, it sucked because I had two black eyes, but it was really sweet that the other team made me cookies. Literally, people gave me looks for the next month. Another kid in my Core class got stitches from flag football so we joked that we were the same.

After not playing your sophomore year, how did you get back into the game?

[Senior] Emily Johnson asked me if I wanted to play and I was like, yeah, I want to play again. I needed contact sports in my life.

What’s something unusual about your experience with flag football?

My dad went to school to be a Catholic priest and he ended up playing center. After I scored my first touchdown on a center sneak last year, I called my dad. It’s neat because when you look at girls’ flag football, their moms didn’t play, so it’s a father-daughter thing.

Shifting gears: Tell me about State of the State.

It’s a community-based research class taught by Professor Paul Apostolidis. What we are doing is partnering with community-based organizations to conduct research for them, both as a way to improve the efficiency of their programs by researching the areas where they see the most need for research and also as viewing a democratic process on a research level. My research project specifically is to conduct field interviews with Latino students and parents at Walla Walla public schools. The big key is addressing the achievement gap. This class is my life.

And your thesis research?

For my thesis, I am researching the globalization of “Sesame Street.” Children watch international co-productions of “Sesame Street”  in 140 countries across the world, making it the most-watched children’s television show in the world. An example of this process of globalization mixed with local cultural curriculum goals is that in South Africa the cast of “Takalani Sesame” includes Kami, an HIV-positive muppet whose mother died of AIDS. The inclusion of Kami in the show is part of the world’s first preschool HIV-AIDS prevention education. My thesis aims to figure out what the globalization of “Sesame Street”  reveals about the nature of U.S. cultural imperialism: how “Sesame Street” works within the framework of  cultural imperialism and  moves beyond it.

What are your plans once you leave Whitman?

I don’t have a specific career goal necessarily. I love working with children and the U.S. public education system desperately needs reform. I have considered being an elementary school bilingual teacher as a steppingstone to a career in education policy, specifically focusing on how schools can better overcome the achievement gap.

My very broad goal is to address how racism is institutionalized in the U.S. public education system.

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