By Emma York, LSJ Communications Student Assistant
For Lindsay Cael, it was a trip to jail that helped her understand why she was in college.
As a UW senior, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Law, Societies, and Justice, Cael obtained a volunteer position at the King County jail, which helped her translate her studies into meaningful work. Upon graduation, she started as a Literacy Americorps member at the jail in which she ran the tutoring program and taught GED classes.
“In my senior year, I started volunteering in the jail and it was such a transformative experience,’ said Lindsay. “It was the first time I understood what I was doing in college and what I wanted to do, and I totally recognize LSJ’s value in helping me do that.”
Now, Cael has an opportunity to provide the support necessary for current LSJ students as the department’s new administrator.
“The administrator’s role is largely unseen by our students, but it is absolutely critical to the well-being of the department,” said Steve Herbert, LSJ chair. “In her role, Lindsay tends to all of the fiscal matters of the department, along with countless other tasks. Students might not know it, but the administrator supports them immensely.”
For her part, Cael is glad to be back in the LSJ community.
“I think the proximity to being around the students and faculty that are really doing amazing things is what most excites me,” Cael said. “I love undergraduate students because they are about to complete this huge thing in their lives and go on to the next step, which is really exciting and inspiring to me.”
Informing her passion for education, her work at the jail was followed by thirteen years of experience at community colleges serving various roles. She began at Seattle Central Community College with tutoring pre-literate refugee students, then ran the college-wide tutoring program at Shoreline, and finally was the director of workforce education at North Seattle College.
She took interest in the administrator opening in the LSJ department as a way to both explore the opportunities offered by a larger university and reconnect with a department that once helped inform her career path.
“I am totally dedicated toward working in education, but I just wanted to try something different and I think UW offers a scope that is considerably larger than community colleges,” she said.
When asked what she is most excited for in this new position, Lindsay mentioned her enthusiasm for the community in which she will take part as the newest staff member of LSJ.
“It is everything I had hoped for,” she said. “Everyone is warm and welcoming within the department and at UW as a whole. It seems that people really enjoy what they do, so it is a really fun place to be.”
The feeling is mutual, according to Herbert.
“We are very glad to have her as our administrator,” he said. “She is thoughtful, humble, dedicated and efficient. It is wonderful to have back as such a key member of our community.”