Liberal Arts Alumni Discuss Career Trajectories
By Emily Hollenbach ’18
On April 14, students had the opportunity to learn about the professional trajectories of two SLA graduates: Kristen
Bednarz ’05, who graduated with a major in English and minors in Global Studies and Communication, and Damian
Bednarz ’04, who completed a degree in Political Science. Now married to each other and living in the Washington,
D.C. area, the alumni described how their liberal arts degrees have led them on fruitful, sometimes unexpected
Mrs. Bednarz (at left), who also received an M.A. in Communication from Marist, has
worked at Marist’s branch campus in Florence, at the American Cancer Society, and
at International Student Exchange Programs. She is currently the lead marketer for
educational experiences at National Geographic.
Mr. Bednarz (above, center) participated in the Hansard Scholar Programme and
performed research in Poland as a Fulbright Scholar from 2004-2005. He has held
positions in Obama’s 2008 campaign and with the Department of Energy. The
recipient of Poland’s Gold Cross of Merit, he currently works at the consulting firm Kivvit.
Emphasizing the need to pursue career goals strategically, Mr. and Mrs. Bednarz urged
students to recognize the professional value of the relationships they develop in college
and beyond. Students had the chance to hear more about these ideas during Mr. Bednarz’s
meeting with Dr. Jessica Boscarino’s Environmental Politics and Policy class and during his
keynote address at the Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society) induction ceremony.
Students in a wide variety of majors found the events helpful. Mrs. Bednarz’s emphasis on professionalism within a global
context rang particularly true for David Zambuto ’18, a Public Relations/Advertising major: "Mrs. Bednarz's travel and career
experience reassured me that my dreams of exploring the
world while working in marketing is possible." Environmental
Science and Policy major Megan Nickel ’19 appreciated Mr.
Bednarz’s breadth of experience: “His reflections on the nature
of a government versus a corporate job were direct, honest,
and extremely applicable.” For his part, Business major
Matthew Longobardo ’18 connected his own aspirations to Mr.
Bednarz’s experiences: “He has dedicated his life to making
the environment a cleaner, safer place for everyone. It gives
me hope that I will someday achieve something similar.”