Graduation Success Stories: Ken Arkind and Alex Steele

Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

MIT produces world-class graduates. Two such students were profiled during Graduation Week in late May.

Ken Arkind is an American performance poet and educator who graduated from MIT with a Bachelor of Creative Arts.

“I dropped out of college the first time because I was already working as a professional poet. I hated the way most tertiary-level writing programmes were set up, how impersonal they are. I made up my mind that if I ever were to go back it would have to be a pretty special programme,” says Ken.

“I first discovered MIT’s Faculty of Creative Arts while visiting a friend who was attending the Creative Writing programme. I was amazed at the calibre of writers on staff, real professionals working directly with the students in an environment that felt more personal and direct than any programme I had seen. I think this was so key in my decision making process. Instead of listening to a lecture about your favourite book you can take a class from the person who wrote it. Those lecturers go above and beyond for their students as well. Folks like Catherine Chidgey or Cat Ruka, celebrated artists that teach real skills. That’s why I choose FCA.”

Ken Arkind was interviewed and performed on Jesse Mulligan’s Radio New Zealand show.

Nursing graduate Alex Steele was also featured.

Alex achieved excellent results while gaining her Bachelor of Nursing earning a scholarship and graduating top of her class.

Prior to taking up study at MIT she had a successful career in insurance and once held the position of operations manager at Buckingham Palace.

The Christchurch earthquake of 2011 was a turning point for Alex as she told the NZ Herald