PHutures – 100 Alumni Voices »

Kelly Siegel-Stechler

“It’s hard to see the water when you’re a fish and you’re swimming in it. And sometimes those small moments of getting to see yourself from the outside or be connected to small things that sort of illuminate big things is really valuable.”

School of Education

Education, PhD 2021

Senior Researcher at Tufts University

Kelly‘s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss what led Kelly from her interest in youth programming centered on international affairs to pursuing a PhD in Education, the ways she managed the stressors of her PhD by taking a holistic approach to life, and her advice for facing the challenges of transitioning out of graduate school.

Learn More About Kelly‘s Story

This is my first day of school in England in 2002, when I was 14-years-old. Moving abroad as a young person transformed my life in many ways, and especially impacted how I thought about “American” being a part of my identity. I became interested in politics and international affairs, and also citizenship and national identity, and that eventually led me to study civic identity development in young people.

This is me and my childhood best friend at the Women’s March in Washington, DC in January, 2017. I started my PhD program in August of 2016 and even though I already had an idea that I wanted to study some kind of civic education, the events of the 2016 election and the response that followed made it feel especially important and pressing, and really focused my work on political socialization and civic identity development. I also saw a jump in my own civic engagement at this time, alongside the young people in my work, as demonstrated by my participation in such a massive civic action.