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Meryl Cates ’08

Cates was the first student in Purchase history to combine degrees in Dance and Journalism.

Meryl Cates (BALA: Journalism, Dance) was the first ever to combine dance and journalism in the BALA program. She found the journalism class she took sophomore year to be exciting and challenging, prompting a detour from her original academic route.

“Creating the curriculum for my BALA was one of the most empowering moments of my college career,” she explains. While the major does allow freedom and flexibility, it’s not an easy one. “Discipline and motivation were key because the course load of a BALA is very rigorous,” she says.

Schlesinger agrees: “The BALA is not a slightly easier way to get a Purchase degree. It’s the harder way to get a Purchase degree.” Cates, who hails from Mahopac, NY, describes her career as varied, but “always rooted in the arts and journalism.”

She’s had articles published in dance magazines and blogs, covered theatre online for Interview magazine, and in 2010 received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in dance criticism.

She’s now the Press Officer of Concerts and Lectures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  “The discipline and, ultimately, the confidence that the major required me to develop, helped me to prepare for my winding career path.”