A&S Class of '24: Audrey Cruey's Public Service Leads to Peace Corps Assignment

Audrey Cruey

Audrey Cruey intended to study politics and perhaps pursue a public policy degree when she arrived on Grounds four years ago. Her first semester, however, a Religious Studies seminar on theological bioethics — the course examined how religion affects the way the healthcare system operates in the United States — piqued Cruey’s interest and persuaded her to embrace a different path, one that combined her love of reading, global exploration and public service.

Before leaving for Kenya this summer on a Peace Corps assignment, Cruey is scheduled to graduate in May with bachelor’s degrees in religious studies and English. Her interest in global depictions of witchcraft led her to write a thesis on representations of witchcraft in African and African diaspora literature for Religious Studies’ Distinguished Major Program

“I think the liberal arts track that I followed really came from me just following my interests and that's definitely kind of shaped my career path in a way,” said Cruey, who grew up less than an hour from the University of Virginia in Madison County, Virginia. “My Peace Corps assignment to Kenya very much incorporates things that I've learned in my time here and things that I'm passionate about, and the things I studied and pursued at UVA will benefit me, whether that be in a teaching format or promoting those interests some other way.”

Cruey, who studied American Sign Language to fulfill her UVA language requirement, is preparing to serve as a Kenyan Sign Language volunteer for the Peace Corps. This academic year, Cruey served as an ASL language assistant at Shea House, a UVA residential community for students interested in a language-immersion environment requiring them to communicate in the languages they are studying on Grounds.

She also volunteered as an English language consultant assisting UVA’s international students, staff and scholars. For the last two years, she interned with the UVA Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights’ Title IX division, assisting it with the design of the CavCare Interactive Guide, created to increase community awareness of the resources available to survivors of sexual violence.

Cruey is also concluding her term as president of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at UVA, which organizes educational events and political forums on reproductive health and rights, and sex education training on Grounds.

“I’ve viewed my liberal arts education as something that's going to enrich any career path that I decide to go into,” she said. “My fondest memories here are related to the people I've found who share a passion for the things I'm passionate about and interested in, and connecting with them in the classroom or outside the classroom. There are so many opportunities to connect with great people at UVA in so many different formats.”


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