Davis, CA ·


  • Engaging and high-quality written and verbal communicator with presentation experience in academic, professional, and service settings
  • Empathetic and inquisitive researcher committed to intersectionality, transdisciplinary methods, and decolonising forms of knowledge
  • Ten years of international travel, work experience, and cross-cultural communication
  • Wholistic investment in service, social justice, and education equity
  • Outstanding academic record at undergraduate and graduate levels, in public and private institutions


Doctor of Philosophy, Literature – University of California, Santa Cruz, ongoing

  • First-year PhD student with research interests in east African literature, the Indian Ocean, ships, mobility, oceanic networks, postcolonial lit, maritime lit, and Afro-futurism
  • Teaching assistant in LIT 121D: Medieval Epic

Master of Arts in African Studies – Stanford University, June 2016

  • 4.00 GPA, Summa cum laude
  • Concentration in society and culture, East Africa, Amharic language studies
  • Master’s thesis on the Indian Ocean, East African literature of the sea, and implications for nationalism and national identity politics

Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science, Economics minor – Seattle Pacific University, June 2015

  • 3.98 GPA, summa sum laude
  • Alpha Kappa Sigma, Who’s Who Among Universities
  • University Scholars (Honors Program)
    • Invited to join based on exceptional high school record. Received high marks in four years of writing-intensive honors curriculum in the liberal arts
    • Completed senior honors thesis on influence of Ethiopian folklore on personal narrative and religion through a collection of short stories and research in narrative theory
  • Study Abroad, SCIO Scholar’s Semester in Oxford – University of Oxford, September – December 2013
    • Chosen out of a competitive application process to live and study at the university for a semester
    • Completed rigorous tutorial in C.S. Lewis under Dr. Michael Ward, preeminent Lewis scholar, with high marks and distinction among peers
    • Completed secondary tutorial in English Literature 1740-1832, lecture courses and culminating seminar paper on the influence of societal preoccupations in the Sherlock Holmes stories
  • Collegiate Activities
    • Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Varsity, 2011 – 2015
    • Staff Writer, The Falcon Newspaper, September 2012 – June 2015
    • Washington Student Leadership Forum – Olympia, WA, March 2013                                 


AmeriCorps Member, CityYear Sacramento – Sacramento, CA, August 2016 – June 2017

  • Accepted into highly selective AmeriCorps program dedicating one year of service to low-income charter high school focused on increasing student attendance, decreasing behavior altercations, and improving academic course performance
  • Provided instructional aid support in 9th grade ELA and reading enrichment classes 10 hours/week for students at 4th grade reading level or below
  • Improved ELA grades and reading comprehension scores for 20 focus list students through small group instruction 17.5 hours/week and differentiated lesson plans to accommodate different learning styles
  • As team lead on Leadership & Development Committee, delivered 8 workshops on resumes/cover letters, career development, and oral/written communication in group settings
  • Empathetically communicated in adversity with students and substitutes after partner teacher left midyear
  • Coached the development of inexperienced runners, building teamwork as assistant track and field coach

Research Assistant, Hoover Institution – Palo Alto, CA, June – August 2016

  • Conducted archival research in William X. Scheinman and Tom Mboya papers, diplomatic and African Studies materials
  • Packaged PDFs and analysis for head researcher
  • Ambitious self-starter who follows up leads and extends research boundaries

Editorial Assistant/Staff Writer, Seattle Pacific University Communications – Seattle, WA, February 2014 – June 2015

  • Seattle Pacific University Employee of the Year, 2015
  • Engaging and informative author of campus activity, alumni, and special interest stories for CASE award-winning publications with 60,000+ readership
  • Celebrated for mature composition style, attention to detail, research, and fact-checking skills
  • Inquisitive, investigative, and probing interviewer
  • Composition style driven by personal detail, imagery, and editorial clarity

Copy Editor, The Falcon Newspaper, Seattle Pacific University – Seattle, WA, September 2014 – June 2015

  • Proficient and experienced in AP style, Chicago, & APA.
  • Vibrant team player contributing positivity, humor, and attention to detail to group dynamic.
  • Editorial commitment and curiosity to making stories better.
  • Thriving and efficient in high pressure, deadline situations.
  • Supplemented copyediting with writing fine art and theatre reviews.
  • Galvanized use of Hootsuite and tracking for Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Intern, Image Journal – Seattle, WA, September 2012 – June 2013

  • Editorial intern providing fact-checking, administrative, and proofreading support.
  • Professionally and courteously interacts with authors, artists, and donors, maintaining and furthering Image’s brand and relationships.
  • Creative collaboration and logistical support on artist reading events, workshops, and fundraisers.
  • Observant and empathic participant in company culture.


Volunteer ESL Instructor, World Relief – Sacramento, CA, February 2017 – present

  • Weekly tutor for two Afghani refugee students illiterate in their native languages (Pashtu, Dari, Farsi)
  • Responsible for developing or adapting curriculum, writing and implementing lesson plans, providing homework
  • Relationship development and mentorship on adjusting to life in America, navigating institutions, cultural dynamics

Contracted Writer, Partners International – South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia,  June – September 2014

  • Independent traveller and writer conducting interviews and project reports for development agency
  • Creator and implementor of empowerment curriculum on the value of personal stories, interviews, and writing progress reports
  • Flexible and adaptable to cultural environments and demanding travel
  • Empathic and relatable cross-cultural communicator who is deeply interested in the lives and experiences of others

Volunteer, Seattle World School – Seattle, WA, January – June 2013                                 

  • Aided and encouraged English reading, writing and verbal skills as teaching assistant
  • Skilled and flexible communicator across cultural and language barriers with empathy and skill
  • Familiar with teaching and modeling basic ESL and classroom management techniques

Relationship-building Trip to Taiwan, Free Methodist Church – Taiwan, July 2009   

  • Accompanied leadership and speaking team to youth outreach camp
  • Lived in dormitories with Taiwanese peers and developed cross-cultural friendships

Relationship-building Trip to Ethiopia, International Assistance Program – Ethiopia, November 2007

  • Visited microfinance loan recipients in Dilla and Yirgacheffe
  • Learned about the facilitation and benefits of microfinance firsthand
  • Sparked a love and interest in Ethiopia at a young age


Private Tutor, College Essays and Preparation – Seattle, WA, Present

Intern, Congressional Office of Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers – Spokane, WA, June – August 2013

Staff Writer, Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living Magazine – Spokane, WA, June – November 2012                               

Employee, Beck’s Harvest House – Spokane, WA, June – September 2011-14   


Seattle Pacific University Wesley E. Lingren Award, 2015                              

  • Presented annually to the graduating University Scholar who most exemplifies the high ideals of scholarly excellence and Christian service of SPU’s honors program, in recognition of senior thesis

Seattle Pacific University Student Employee of the Year, 2015                  

  • For editorial assistant role at University Communications
  • According to coworkers and overseer, “[Kelsey’s] writing, attention to detail, and fact checking are of the highest quality…her work is more representative of a staff member’s skill level.”

McNicols Award for Scholarly Merit in the Humanities, 2015                          

  • Awarded by Seattle Pacific University College of Arts and Sciences in recognition of scholarly achievement

Political Science & Geography General Track Award, 2015                    

  • Awarded by Seattle Pacific University School of Business, Government, and Economics in recognition of scholarly achievement in political science

Scholar Award Recipient – Seattle Pacific University, 2011 – 2015                   

  • Prestigious four-year full-tuition scholarship, awarded through a competitive interview process and on the basis of high school GPA and high SAT scores

De Jager Prize – University of Oxford, December 2013                                 

  • Awarded for exceptional academic performance in written research on Margery Kempe, Mary Wollstonecraft and Wilfred Owen

Ivy Honorary Chapter of National Mortar Board, 2013 – 2015                           

  • Member of national honor society recognizing juniors and seniors for exemplary scholarship, leadership and service accomplishments

Great Northwest Athletic Conference Faculty Athletic Representative Scholar Athlete Award, 2011, 2012, 2013

  • Awarded annually to student-athletes who excel in both academics and athletics

Dean’s List – Seattle Pacific University, 2011 – 2015                         

  • Honored every quarter of collegiate career for completion of 12 hours of credit work and achievement of 3.5 or higher GPA

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