Crafting Intercultural Connections in Vietnam

Pitzer’s Kathy Kile ’97 puts social responsibility into action in Huế

Pitzer students and staff member Kathy Kile in Vietnam
Kathy Kile ’97 (second from right) volunteering with the Healing Heart Foundation in Vietnam.

Pitzer Mailroom Supervisor and alumna Kathy Kile ’97 spent 28 days this summer volunteering in Hue, Vietnam, where the College hosts a summer study abroad partnership with Hue University. Kile, who attended a Pitzer study abroad information session last year, was immediately drawn to the opportunity to travel to Hue, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and engage with the community through her love of handmade clothing and crafts.

In Vietnam, Kile worked with hearing-impaired young adults at the Healing Heart Foundation, making souvenirs out of recycled materials to raise money for children in need of heart surgery. She also volunteered at the Future School, teaching arts and crafts to children with physical and developmental disabilities. “My first day at the school, I fell in love,” Kile said. “I fell in love with each and every student and their excited faces as they learned something new and took pride in their finished works.”

Offices across campus came together to make Kile’s trip possible. Pitzer’s Institute for Global/Local Action & Study and Staff Council provided funding while offices of Student Affairs and Admission provided Pitzer gear so she could spread Sagehen spirit in Vietnam. “When I say I had many people help me make this dream come true, that’s an understatement,” said Kile.

Kile first started working at Pitzer College in 1988 and became a New Resources Student five years later. She graduated in 1997 with a degree in English and world literature and sociology. Kile, a passionate seamstress, has created cowls and stoles for Pitzer commencements. Throughout the years, she’s combined her interest in clothing design and her commitment to reducing waste through two art exhibitions that took the form of recycled fashion runway shows. One of her pieces, a gown made of recycled paper, is on display in Pitzer’s Scott Hall lobby.

Photo Gallery
Kathy Kile ’97 volunteering in Vietnam

Kathy Kile ’97 volunteering in Vietnam

Kathy Kile ’97 volunteering in Vietnam
Kathy Kile '97 teaches arts and crafts to students at the Future School.

Kathy Kile ’97 volunteering in Vietnam

Kathy Kile '97 teaches arts and crafts to students at the Future School.
Kathy Kile '97 teaches arts and crafts to students at the Future School.
Kathy Kile '97 teaches arts and crafts to students at the Future School.

Kathy Kile ’97 volunteering in Vietnam

Kathy Kile '97 teaches arts and crafts to students at the Future School.
Kathy Kile '97 teaches arts and crafts to students at the Future School.
A young man from the Heading Heart Foundation is making a souvenir out of recycled materials to raise money for children in need of heart surgery.

Heading Hearts Fdn

A young man from the Heading Heart Foundation is making a souvenir out of recycled materials to raise money for children in need of heart surgery.
A young man from the Heading Heart Foundation is making a souvenir out of recycled materials to raise money for children in need of heart surgery.

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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