Public Engagement

  • Alumni

    Ted Kerr

    “I realized I needed to finish my BA to achieve my goals,” says Ted Kerr, a writer, activist, and artist from Edmonton, Canada. “The only school it made sense to apply to was The New School. It was perfect because you could build your own program.”
    For almost a decade, Ted had worked in retail, because it gave him the flexibility to travel. “I spent half a year in India, a year in Europe, kind of exploring whatever came my way.” In Edmonton, he helped start up Exposure: Edmonton’s Queer Arts and Culture Festival.

    In the Bachelor’s Program for Adults and Transfer Students at The New School, Ted earned prior learning credits for his work on the festival, as an HIV/AIDS activist, and as a columnist. “The life experience I brought to The New School improved my education. It made me a better writer, student, and researcher.”

    “I came from a place where I had to fight really hard to be heard as a radical or to stand up and be different,” he says. “At The New School and in New York, I didn’t have to fight so hard, because I was just one person in a sea of different people. It enabled me to dig a bit deeper on issues.”

    Ted was a student in the Riggio Honors Program for Writing and Democracy and worked on the undergraduate literary magazine 12th Street. “It was great to be part of a close-knit, high-functioning team that had a specific goal each semester. I was interested in proving my own talents as a writer and in stretching my ideas about what writing can do.”

    An internship at Visual AIDS that Ted completed for credit led to a full-time job as a program manager. “The thing that unites most people living with HIV is that they’re marginalized in the cultures and societies they live in,” Ted said, “Writing and art are tools you can use to push back against that marginalization.”

    Asked if he has advice for incoming students, Ted says, “Leave your expectations of others at the door and really be open to what’s going to unfold in front of you.”