Alumni Spotlight: Katie Pettis

Katie Pettis
I came to Lehigh to major in Accounting, but after a few weeks I knew I needed to change. When I saw Professor Kashi Johnson at an off-campus spoken word event, I was drawn to her so much that I immediately looked up the classes she taught -- I was going to take every last one of them. My experience in the Department of Theatre has highly influenced my career direction. Growing up in a low-income area, I was grateful for opportunities to be involved in extracurricular activities. I felt humbled to major in theatre at Lehigh, since not only was I thriving, I was at a school that many in my community could only dream of attending. I am currently enrolled at Point Park University where I am pursuing an MBA. Once I complete my schooling, I plan to open a performing arts center in my community and offer classes at an affordable rate. Something I learned during my time in the Department of Theatre that has stuck with me is; “Fake it ‘til you make it!” When I was learning this, it was mostly in reference to remembering lines and inhabiting my character, but now I realize that I can use that axiom in everyday life. Sometimes you have to “fake it ‘til you make it” until you’re in the position to make the decisions. My advice to someone who is considering becoming involved with the Department of Theatre at Lehigh is to always remember that there are no small roles, only small-minded people. Do what makes you happy regardless of how society views your passion! The best part about your passion is that it’s yours.