Category Archives: University of Kent in America

Meet the new UKA Boston Chair: Scarlet Kim

Scarlet Kim

Where were you raised?

I was born in Nyack, New York. But I grew up in the Bronx in New York City. New Yorker to the core.  After high school though, travelled away from New York and lived international and domestically for many years.

What made you decide to study at Kent?

Head Professor Hugh Miall co-wrote “Contemporary Conflict Resolution” with Oliver Ramsbotham and Tom Woodhouse. I studied with the book during my undergraduate studies. And wanted to meet the man in person. He was the Head Professor of the Department of Politics and International Relations.

What would you like to see the group achieve in the next few years? 

I would like the group to grow and make more happy connections. To network, volunteer, and expand the potential of what the chapter can do for the University of Kent and alumni services. Once we are able to establish a foundation of what the Boston chapter stands on, I am excited to see us grow further.

What was your earliest ambition?

My earliest ambition was surprisingly to be an entomologist and to study insects. Beetles fascinated me, however after a while, I couldn’t handle the cringe factor.

What was your first job?

My mother used to own an old fashion candy shop with soda fountain drinks and spinning stools like the classic Americana style. When my mother realized my maths skills were on par, I was working the counter and serving drinks when I turned eight. It was great, I was managing high school and college part-timers because I was the most experienced. I didn’t get paid though, since it was my mom. But tips were great!

What advice would you give a new student at Kent?

Be open, try everything so that you can figure out what you want to focus on, make friends with everyone because you will find a kindred spirit among them, and look up at the night sky at Kent for the stars are beautiful.

Would you recommend Kent to prospective students? Why?

My experience at Kent in Canterbury was life-changing. The friends, the memories, and the studies. I don’t have any negative things to say. And I want others to experience the same amazing time. Canterbury will always be my second home.

How would you describe yourself in six words?

Not enough words to describe Scarlet.

Meet the new UKA Boston Chair: Natalya Orlando

Natalya Orlando

Where were you raised?

What made you decide to study at Kent?

I pursued my Master’s Degree in Political Strategy and Communication, which was only offered at a handful of universities worldwide.

What would you like to see the group achieve in the next few years? 

My co-chair, Scarlet, and I want to expand the Kent alumni network in the Boston area, connect with the Kent global alumni network, and encourage our Boston area chapter to get involved in local events and volunteer opportunities.

If you didn’t attend Kent how would your life now be different?

I would not have many of the wonderful Kent connections I have, would never have travelled the UK, as I did, nor would I have my Master’s Degree, which I am very proud of!


What was your earliest ambition?


What have you been up to since graduating?

I have worked extensively in issue, and candidate based campaigns, preside over the Boston Austrian Economics group, is a social media consultant, and currently work in the investment banking industry.

What advice would you give a new student at Kent?

Take advantage of everything Kent, and the lovely city of Canterbury offers!

Who or what inspires you?

Jesus Christ

Meet Shannon Laribo – 2016 UKA Kent Fulbright Scholar

This is Shannon Laribo and she received the 2016 UKA Kent-Fulbright Scholarship for her Master’s degree in Methods of Social Research. This scholarship is offered in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission and supported by the University of Kent in America for a US citizen to undertake postgraduate studies at Kent. She shared her story with us.

After becoming interested in race studies during undergraduate study, I wanted to become an expert in the field. I hoped to acquire a skill set in research methodology in order to ensure that my future contributions to race and ethnicity research would be valid and significant. However, this depended on financial contribution.  Looming student loan debt from my undergraduate study made it impossible to embark on a more extensive academic journey without financial help and so receiving this scholarship was both an immense honor, and a necessity.

I plan to eventually create research-based educational initiatives to reduce prejudice in children at primary and secondary schools. My aspirations are of a global scope as I hope to continuously research the development of prejudice and ways to address children’s prejudice in an international context.

My parents, who have never been to the United Kingdom, traveled here to move me in.  As a lower-middle class, black American family in the south of the United States, international travel has neither been a priority or of easy access to us.  The only family members who travelled to other countries were those of military background, otherwise the act was seen as one for the rich.

My father was from a military family and had lived in Spain when he was a small child.  Given our financial and cultural constraints, he had not been back to Madrid and had never expected he would.  Forty years later, I was able to take my father back to Spain where we began a scavenger hunt for his home, neighbourhood, school and more.  This experience was of utmost importance to my family and me.

I am so inspired by fellow students.  Given my values of diversity and inclusion, I feel that I am consistently learning from the diverse backgrounds and thoughts of other students.  In seminars, students may make sense of the coursework through examples of their experiences in their home country.  To enrich the discussion we often further compare and contrast our varied experiences.  I am building lasting friendships with students from all over the world!

I appreciate Kent’s uniquely diverse environment and particularly the heightened amount of international students that live on campus at Woolf College.  I am exposed to people with a variety of experiences not just culturally, but also in their stage of life.  I am meeting students who have completed other master’s degrees in other countries, students who have worked for several years and are established within their career, students of all ages and walks of life.

Meet Eliot Williamson – Kent’s Washington DC Chapter Chair

Where were you raised?   United States

What made you decide to study/work at Kent?  I found out about University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies through a friend that was half British and Belgian.

What would you like to see the group achieve in the next few years? The goal is to get more alumni out to events, connect with prospective students, and connect alumni back to the University of Kent.

How has your experience at Kent helped you since graduation?  I have been able to connect with clients and colleagues in the international space at high levels. My experience at Kent has been a tremendous help.

Would you recommend Kent to prospective students? Why?  I would definitely recommend Kent to a prospective student! The Brussels campus has much to offer and it is in one of the world’s most international cities. The advice I would give a new University of Kent student is to take advantage of everything Kent and Brussels have to offer.

Meet Paul Cusimano – Kent’s Midwest Chapter Chair

Paul Cusimano: Keynes 1990, History (one year abroad, fall 1990-Spring 1991)

Where were you raised?  Barrington, Illinois, US of A

What made you decide to come to Kent?  Proximity to the rest of Europe; historical city of Canterbury; and they let me in!

What would you like to see the group achieve in the next few year? Expanding our outreach, including others who have an affinity to what the University represents as the the UK’s European University.

What was your first job? An umpire in Little League youth baseball. Great money for a 14 year old.

How has your experience at Kent helped you since graduation? Perspective is important. Meeting and being with so many different people with different backgrounds has helped me gain a new view of the world.

What advice would you give a new student at Kent?  Don’t eat too much chicken shawarma late at night. It will catch up to you.  Trust me.

What advice would you give to a new graduate embarking on a career? Network, network, network. Paths open and close because of relationships built over time, or just over a brief meeting.

What is your favourite memory of Kent?  Performing in the musical “Pajama Game” at the Marlowe Theatre as part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations


This November, our focus has been on the power of giving.  Rebecca Monteleone was the 2014 UKA Fulbright scholar and here she updates us on where life has taken her since Kent.

“I spent the year after I completed my MA at Kent as an intern with a federally-funded non-profit in Washington, DC that undertook research and training developing best practices for youth with disabilities transitioning into the workforce. During that time I published a policy brief on employment policy for people with disabilities in the US and published a version of my MA research in the Journal for Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities with Professor Rachel Forrester-Jones.

Over the summer, I received funding to present my research at the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ World Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

“I am currently finishing my first semester as a PhD student at Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society. My current work is focused on the differing ways disability is conceptualized between individuals with intellectual disabilities and researchers in medical genetics and assistive technologies. I am a Fellow in a program funded through the National Science Foundation entitled the Alliance for Person-Centered Accessible Technologies.”