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Catania James ’07

Catania James received her BA in Language and Culture from Purchase College in May 2007.  After graduating from Purchase College, she received a fellowship from U.S. and German governments through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program to study and intern for a year in Germany (2008-2009), participated in the North American Language and Culture Assistant program in Spain (2011-2012) and earned her MA in International Affairs from The New School in May 2014.

While attending Purchase College, Catania participated in the faculty-led abroad programs to Burgos, Spain (2003-2004) and Hyères, France (Summer 2006).  After graduating from Purchase and in between her sojourns abroad, Catania also has experience working with international high school students and their acclimation to U.S. life through her work with the nonprofit, Program of Academic Exchange (PAX).  She has served as the Interim Company Manager for RudduR Dance, a small contemporary dance company based in New York, NY.  Additionally, she has experience aiding college students in acquiring visas to study abroad with New York University.  From September 2017 to June 2019, Catania worked as the Study Abroad Advisor in the Office of International Programs and Services at Purchase College and enjoyed giving back to the Purchase College community by guiding Purchase students through the whole study abroad process from inquiry to application, acceptance, pre-departure and re-entry.  In January 2018 she started The Thick Ballerina, which is an online community and website to show that there is space for curvier framed dancers in the ballet world.

During her interviews to work at Purchase, Catania emphasized that she wanted to give back to the college because it had given her so much.  She came to Purchase with the aim to study abroad, grow artistically, learn Spanish and German, and gain leadership skills.  As evidenced from her trajectory after graduating Purchase, Catania’s experiences during her undergraduate years served as a great foundation. 

Catania would love to learn more about the Alumni Board’s direction and how she can bring her skills to assist its direction. She also would love to serve as a mentor or reference for current Purchase students, especially those who are graduating and students of color.


Language & Culture


Member, Alumni Association Board of Directors