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Political Science Department at UW Oshkosh


A UWO Political Science degree prepares you for tomorrow’s careers by focusing on critical transferable skills, such as: writing, problem solving, critical thinking, decision making, analysis, and leadership. The Political Science department will get you there with engaging  courses, internships, study abroad/away and research opportunities.

Political Science alums are always doing cool things, and we try hard to keep up with them all. We're inspired by all of the work you're doing in the world, and how you're using your degree in a million different ways.

Today, let's revisit one of our first ALUMNI CONNECTIONS, Katie (Jefferson) Gruber (B.A., 2010 in Political Science and Communication). When we last wrote about her, she was the office manager at a family-owned business in central Wisconsin. A lot has happened since then!

Here's our short interview with her about a venture that combines her love of politics with her passion for spirituality and empowerment.

UWOPS: You moved from central Wisconsin to Florida to North Carolina. Can you talk about what prompted those moves?

KG: My husband Josh and I had lived in Wisconsin our entire lives and done exactly what we were supposed to: go to college, graduate, get married, buy a house, start and grow careers. We had a great life, but there was a part of us that felt that we had “settled” on the safe path. We made the decision that we would try out the path we didn’t take. It took a lot of giving up the idea that we had to do things in a certain way or that our life story had to read in a way that even made sense to anyone else. We moved three times in the last year, now live in North Carolina, and who knows what’s next. Taking action and trusting ourselves that we will figure it out has been hugely empowering. And scary. And fun.

UWOPS: Your new business is called "Know+Glow." How did you come up with that idea?

KG: I got really sick of two things.

First, tired of feeling like I couldn’t be me! I’m spiritual and political, and there is a view those two things don’t go together a lot. If you want to “protect your vibes”, you don’t watch the news. Smart political junkies are cynical and critical. Whenever I felt fully in the zone of being spiritual, there was a part of me that felt like I was ignoring the world. It’s really dis-empowering to ignore a part of you, so I decided to forget the rules and build a business based on both.

Second, I got sick of listening to people who felt hopeless and/or cynical and/or heartbroken and/or helpless when they watched the news. So many good people tune out because it seems really dark and they don’t know how to light it up. So I decided to help them tune in and bring their light. If you are a strong light, it’s not dark.

UWOPS: What is your average day like now?

KG: By 9am I am at my desk with the best foamy coffee I just learned to make. I’m in the launching phase of Know+Glow, so I’m focused right now on building my audience. This involves a lot of experimentation and it’s fun! There’s also usually some website work mixed in there. Basically logistics in the morning. Lunch – I always try to make some real food and get outside. I save the afternoons for coaching calls, writing, creating programs, and studying/training. I’m in two different training programs right now and I LOVE this growth part of my business. I think it’s really important to keep growing myself in order to help my clients. Sometimes I’ll have a coaching call in the evening, or lead a Facebook Live in the Know+Glow group.

UWOPS: How has your background in Political Science and Communication helped you in this endeavor?

KG: My education really gave me the base of critical thinking, writing/speaking skills, and confidence. All the research projects and papers showed me that I don’t need to know all the answers to begin with because I can figure all of that stuff out as I go. That’s the research part! It will come together. Just start with an idea of where you’re headed and then start taking action. In my experience, that’s how all the best things in life happen anyway. None of us actually know what we’re doing 100% of the time.

UWOPS: Why should people join you at Know+Glow?

KG: My mission in Know+Glow is to train spiritual activists who are ready to be ruthlessly determined to shine, tune in, and light up the world in ways that feel authentic, real and powerful. I reject cynicism, the idea of broken systems/people, and that people are powerless. We need people to see that their presence and their actions is what heals political division. This is grassroots change at a personal level. Be empowered; decide what you want the world to be and then make it that way. Over in the Know+Glow Facebook group, that’s what we go about doing. I share free Facebook Lives and blog posts, guided meditations each week (1% Pause for Peace), weekly challenges and other freebies, and share fun like dance parties.

Want to find out more about what Katie is up to? Join her Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/300871830640177/

We always love hearing from our alums. If you would like to be featured here (or if you have an update to share), let us know! You can email Dr. Slagter at slagtert AT uwosh DOT edu.
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