Featured Member: Christy Rozek ’15
Christy Rozek ’15 is a staff writer at the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). She also has a serious pottery habit.
How she developed a love of words: I came to Wellesley as a studio art and art history double major, but ended up double majoring in linguistics and Italian. The summer after taking Angela Carpenter’s intro to linguistics class, I just couldn’t stop looking at everything through the lense of linguistics. When I was in the supermarket thinking about voice assimilation of consonants on a pickle jar label, I knew it was meant to be. I worked in linguistics labs every summer at Wellesley and wrote a senior thesis in sociolinguistics on gender and
humor in language.
On feeling the rhythm of Wellesley: It’s a story I’ve heard from a lot of other students--I fell in love with Wellesley when I went to spring open campus. When I was there, I saw Yanvalou perform and knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I was in Yanvalou for two years, learned a tremendous amount, and made wonderful friends.
On moving to the other side of the world: After graduation, I received a Fulbright fellowship and moved to Malaysia for a year. I lived in a small town in one of the poorer and more remote areas of the country and taught English in a public high school there. I was the only westerner in the school, which felt isolating at times, but taught me a lot and gave me the chance to grow a lot as a person.
Why she moved to D.C.: I came back from Malaysia and worked for a couple months as a ski instructor while I looked for jobs. I applied to positions in D.C., New York, and Boston. The first job I got was in D.C., so in February of 2017 I moved here with a suitcase. My dear Wellesley friend, Emily Schultz ‘15, gave me a place to stay and helped me find an apartment. I had only visited once before, but had fallen in love with the museums and I must admit, the food scene.
On navigating the job market as a new graduate: One of the wonderful things about Wellesley is that it makes us dream big about what our futures could be like. But at the same time, those high expectations can make you feel a sometimes crushing pressure to be successful in traditional ways, like getting a job related to your major or going to a top grad school. I’ve seen many of my recently graduated friends feel the weight of these expectations and beat themselves up about it. I think it’s healthy and normal to give yourself a couple of years to work different jobs and figure things out. It’s hard at the beginning, and we’re allowed to have our own unique path to success.
On using words to do good: I work at RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. As part of my job as staff writer, I interview survivors of sexual violence to help them share their stories. I also write content on resources and support for survivors, public policy around sexual violence, and advice for seeking medical and legal help. It’s important to me to go to work and know that I’m doing something meaningful.
Where to find her on weekends: One wonderful aspect of living in D.C is having access to the National Gallery of Art. Honestly, I find myself treating it as a spiritual space. I go there on the weekends and walk in with a sketchbook or diary and sit in the small courtyard gardens on either end. I’ll happily spend an entire afternoon there, sometimes wandering into the impressionist wing to visit a few of my favorite paintings.
About that pottery habit. I do ceramics at a beautiful little studio called Hinckley Pottery. One day I took myself out to explore Georgetown for a self-care day and got lost trying to find Baked and Wired. I wandered into Blues Alley and saw a storefront with pots in the window. I went in, and as soon as I smelled the clay and saw the wheels, I realized it had been too long since my Wellesley pottery classes. I signed up, and now I have a side-hustle working there part time to fund my pottery habit.
The Washington Wellesley Club is excited to introduce you to DC area alums through this new series of online profiles. Each month, a local alum will talk about living and working in DC and share memories of Wellesley. These profiles will illustrate how Wellesley alums stay creative and resilient despite the challenges that inevitably come our way.