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From Student to Student: Olivia Ross, Queens of Guitar Curator and Graduate Student

Release Date: 

January 31, 2024

The following is a guest piece from SBE Communicator, Indiana Hilmes.

One of my favorite parts of being a Student Communicator is connecting with people I otherwise would’ve never met. Olivia Ross, a University of Washington graduate student and MoPop (Museum of Popular Culture) guest curator is a prime example of this. 

I interviewed Olivia on a cloudy day in early November, just chilly enough for my coat. The first thing I noticed about her was her outfit -- she has amazing style!

Talking with Olivia and hearing stories about her adventures inspired me to think about my future. She’s had several experiences studying abroad and doing cool projects associated with her career path (like with MoPop!). Olivia put a lot of time and consideration into one of the coolest exhibitions to ever display at the museum–a project dedicated solely to women guitar players (called Queens of the Guitar). I really admire her passion and drive for her work. Olivia gets to pursue what she loves, and I think the bravery and dedication she exhibits especially made an impact on me.

I’m always nervous before interviews, but then I usually get sucked in by whatever story the interviewee is telling. In Olivia’s case, I was wrapped up in tales of worldwide travels and tons of writing assignments (two of my favorite things). After chatting with her, I felt like I could go anywhere, and be anything. Be anyone.

If I hadn’t had the chance to meet Olivia, I would have no idea that her career path even existed. There are so many opportunities beyond being a lawyer, doctor, or CEO. Sometimes we lose track of our passions in favor of what we think might make us the most money or please the people we love. But in reality, there are infinite possibilities. We might just have to search a little harder for them.

Olivia’s story has not only inspired me to think harder about what I’m passionate about but is a good reminder for all of us to do what we love. Her unique skill set and outgoing personality are what made meeting her a moment I continue to reflect on.


Media Contact: 

Stephanie Davidsmeyer