F&M Stories

Exploring Theater as a Tool for Social Change, Education, and Awareness

Certificates are supplemental educational pathways students can pursue at F&M. Certificates are not tied to majors or minors, but are credentials students can add to their resume to demonstrate a specialized level of training and education in a particular area. 

There are several certificates available at F&M, each one an incubator of innovation exploring a new field of study that uniquely blends perspectives from multiple disciplines. Here is the story of one student’s academic path to a certificate.

Aviva Katz '24

Aviva Katz '24

Certificate: Diversity and Equality in Education

Joint Major: Government and theatre

Hometown: Los Angeles

Activities on campus:

  • President of Chabad, Jewish life club
  • President of F&M Players, student musical theater club
  • Vice president of Green Room Theater Club
  • Director of next spring’s play, “Little Women”
  • Member of Dance Company 
  • Member of Voice Studio 
  • Co-Manager of Arts House 
  • Assistant director of this fall’s play, “Concord Floral.”

Campus job:

  • I am assistant to the production manager in the Department of Theatre and Dance Box Office.

What inspired you to pursue the Diversity and Equality in Education certificate at F&M?

In Fall 2022, I took a sociology and public policy course on urban education. I absolutely loved the course, and so when I was told that it was part of the Diversity and Equality in Education certificate, I was immediately interested in the program. I took the course even though it did not contribute to my major requirements, but because I was genuinely interested in the topic, and I knew that it was relevant to my major and my interests even though it wasn’t part of the government track. 

How does this certificate complement your major?

I am interested in education, broadly, as I believe good and fair education is fundamental to a positive society. I have been interested in educational policy and education inequities for many years, since I first volunteered as a literacy tutor. As I have explored the world of theater more, I have gotten interested in theater as a tool for social change, education, and for raising awareness, empathy and connection to people different from ourselves. This certificate balances both elements of my combined major by focusing those interests on the issues and challenges of today’s educational environment.

How has this certificate helped you along your chosen career path?

I have recently been accepted into Teach for America. I am sure that this certificate strengthened my application! I do not plan to be a classroom teacher long term, but what I have gained with this certificate program will help me in the world of educational theater. The field of theater for social change focuses heavily on increasing equality through educational theater, and raising diverse voices, concepts that are definitely connected to the Diversity and Equality in Education Certificate. 

“This certificate balances both elements of my combined major by focusing those interests on the issues and challenges of today’s educational environment.”

— Aviva Katz '24

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