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Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Chasin '04
Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Chasin '04

There were several factors that played into Sarah Chasin's decision to attend Walnut Hill, primarily her passion for theater and the "tight-knit, welcoming, and accepting community for which Walnut Hill is known." She describes her experience here as "profoundly formative," recalling "outstanding" theater education from Joe Cabral, Naomi Bailis, Kirsten McKinney, and Mike Micucci. "The theater on campus felt like a refuge from the trials of adolescence, and the training pushed me in ways that expanded my thinking and challenged my beliefs about the world, as well as my own perceived limits to my abilities," Sarah reflects. She also found refuge in her friendships, citing the relationships she formed on the Hill as some of her most treasured, "in large part due to the growth we encountered when sharing the intimate experience of learning the craft of acting." Outside of the Theater Department, Sarah cherished the "mandatory fun" of attending events hosted by her peers in the other artistic departments. "The exposure to creativity and craftsmanship engendered in me a deep appreciation for the arts that I still hold to this day."

Currently, Sarah is a Sié Fellow at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies, where she is a master's candidate studying political theory and human rights. Sarah's undergraduate years were spent studying public health, a field she learned about while taking a year off from school, working on the Gulf Coast with AmeriCorps following Hurricane Katrina. "Upon returning to school, I became interested in global public health and international development, and once I graduated I worked for a USAID [United States Agency for International Development] contractor in Washington, DC.," she explains. Working in disaster relief led to a job in Kyrgyzstan, where she managed field office operations for a USAID project "supporting democratic transition and conflict mitigation following an ethnic conflict in the region." Sarah's journey then brought her to New York, where she worked for UNICEF USA for several years in the field of children's rights. Sarah thinks about her arts education often, as she finds it to be frequently helpful in her line of work. "There are the obvious ways in which my theater training has helped me—for instance, in building confidence, reading and responding to my audience, doing public speaking, collaborating, and seeing a project through from inception to completion," says Sarah. "But on a deeper level, I think my training in theater cultivated in me a curiosity about the human experience, and a desire to understand and empathize with people from different walks of life, with varying challenges, talents, and desires."

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