Alumni Spotlight: Meredith Cain

Photo Credit: Alumni Spotlight of Meredith Cain
January 27, 2023

Major: Women's and gender studies
Minors: Psychology and child, youth and family studies (through CEHS)
Graduation Year: 2015

Who is your employer, and where are they located?
UNL Center for Advocacy, Response, and Education (CARE).

What is your job title and what kind of work does it involve?
I am the Administrative Coordinator, so I help with the daily functioning of the CARE office, serving as the first point of contact, as well as helping tell stories through social media, working with data management and reports, and varied communications and events.

What sparked your interest in your areas of study?
I took WMNS 101 with the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community thinking it would be an interesting ACE course. I ended up loving gender studies, and it felt like it just clicked. I ended up changing my major the next semester. I minored in psychology and also child, youth, and family studies (through the College of Education and Human Sciences) because of the opportunities to further learn about individuals, families, and communities.

What do you see as the value of your major or CAS degree?
When I was working on my undergrad degree, we were just entering the fourth wave of feminism. The fourth wave emphasizes intersectionality, something we discussed in nearly every class. Learning about the complexities of personal identities helps you empathize with or at least recognize others’ perspectives and experiences. Even though only 10 years ago, many gender-related and inequity topics were not as commonplace in our daily lives as they are today. Having these lessons and dialogues at UNL helped me learn about privilege, other people's experiences, and also about to have difficult conversations— feeling comfortable to use my voice and knowing when and how to pass the mic.

Were there any other people, activities, or events from your time at UNL that helped you get to where you are now?
WGS did a great job of making students aware about opportunities beyond the classroom. I was informed about an internship opportunity at Planned Parenthood, through which I got to lobby on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. That experience helped cultivate my interest in advocacy, activism and participating in democracy beyond voting.

Tell us about the path you took to get to where you are today in your career and how you applied your education in your areas of study to get here.
After graduating, I worked at a women’s treatment center where I learned a lot about the impacts of trauma on adults and youth. I’ve also worked in psychotherapy clinics, and I spent a couple of years out of the country working as a live-in nanny in Ireland and New Zealand. When I returned home to Lincoln, I started working in community outreach for a local youth mentoring program and completed a master's degree through CEHS. Although varied, in my current role and former positions, I have always had an interest in supporting people. Studying within the College of Arts and Sciences gave me the interdisciplinary foundation to connect with people of all backgrounds and paths.

What are your future professional goals?
TBD! Right now I am living in the present and enjoying supporting UNL students. I strive for a happy balance with my professional and personal life, finding fulfillment in both. In any role I have, I want to utilize my empathy and empower people in some capacity.