Alumnae Profiles: Kristilyn Whigham, C'2007
Kristilyn Whigham was a spring intern in the White House in 2009 and worked in the communications office of first lady Michelle Obama. She received her master's in journalism from Georgetown University, building on her degree in political science from Spelman and her experience as the former editor-in-chief of the Spotlight. She currently works as a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton's Strategy and Organization with a focus on strategic communications.
“As an intern in the first lady’s press office, I was responsible for daily news clips and media monitoring. The position required that I get up very early to have the news clips ready for the staff. I also had the opportunity to assist with interviews and press events,” explained Ms. Whigham. “[Working in] the Obama administration was such an amazing experience. Furthermore, the opportunity to work in the office of the first African-American first lady was incredible. I interned in her office when she launched “Let’s Move,” so I was able to witness firsthand the enthusiasm and excitement the American people feel for her.”
Ms. Whigham says Spelman provided her with a strong foundation academically and socially, enhancing her sense of community and responsibility. “Spelman College has shown me that nothing is impossible. With hard work and dedication, I can accomplish any goal,” she revealed, citing Ms. Renita Mathis, associate director of communications at Spelman and former adviser to the Spotlight, as an important mentor. “From the very moment that we step onto campus, they provide an environment that pushes us to reach toward the heavens, without forgetting those who came before us, and those that will come after.”
Ms. Whigham wants students and alumnae to know that it is never too early or too late to pursue an interest in politics. Find an organization and volunteer, pursue an internship with a congressman, she advises. “Politics is an occupation that has a direct impact on our lives so I think it’s important that more people become involved, and with the election of the president you are seeing younger Americans take an interest, as well as more African-Americans.”