Short Bio

Hi there, I am Kaitlyn “Kait” Cruz! I am a 22 year-old entrepreneur and philanthropist. I currently have three jobs: media, marketing, and management at a tack company, media, marketing, retail, and web design for a succulent/DIY store, and media, marketing, web design, rehabilitation, and ownership of my own non-profit, The HNH Sanctuary (this is the site you are currently on). As Prof. Lookholder already knows, I am always behind on work because I am constantly on the go between a massively communal family, the rescue animals only I care for, and making media magic that eats up my time. Welcome to my beautiful mess of a life. Enjoy-because I sure do!

If you’re actually interested in the work I do with the non-profit, take a look around the website here!

My three rescues!

Why am i taking this class?

I am a graphic design major with double minors in sociology and environmental science. The mission I have with The HNH Sanctuary is to make a more empathetic society through rescue. This means sharing testimonies of animals whom have been severely abused, neglected, forgotten, broken, and left to die in order to help people identify the animals’s struggles with their own. Our influential American society is at a pivotal point where we can choose to continue our ways of self destruction, people against “other” creation, or we can make changes that benefit all of creation, as a whole. I firmly believe eliminating speciesism is the start. A child that can empathize with an animal is better equipped to empathize with a human. In turn, this means more families will go vegetarian or vegan as a form of empathetic decision making. This transition will significantly cut methane production and we will see significant climate stabilization almost instantly. In the process, more people will be better able to love other people. Why? Because when you learn to really understand brokenness through rescuing defenseless, scared animals, you understand broken, defensive, and scared people that much more. Sociology will allow me to explore this thesis more accurately as I relate the concepts through multimedia facets.


General Goal: Take this semester seriously, as if a job.

1. Write notecards of all concepts and master those concepts.

2. Be early to all deadlines.

General Goal: Make the concepts my own.

1. On top of master, figure out how these concepts apply to my running thesis. 

2. Apply and identify the concepts in daily life as well as my sermons. 

3. Idea of: Be able to teach the class if needed.

General Goal: Manage my time well

1. Don't let my 5 jobs eat up my time. Work when there is a spare moment. 

2. Use the evenings well September through November. Eat a meal and get into a relaxed mindset before starting my studies. 

Outcomes: Between all of my external preoccupations, I wasn’t able to completely dedicate myself to this course. I managed to master all of the material and feel as though I understand the concepts and terminology very well; I was just unable to achieve the level of timeliness I wish I could have. I enjoy the fact that I am able to identify sociology patterns on a daily basis and see how society functions in a new light! I still did good work this semester, just not what I wanted to do. I had hoped to push myself more, but am proud that I have applied this course to my own perspectives well!

College Courses

Artifacts and Reflections

Church and Human Rights

Bus Boycott and Liberation Work

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was spearheaded by civil rights activists from the NAACP, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Junior. Rosa Parks volunteered to be the detainee for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on the bus on December 1st, 1955. This lead Martin Luther King Jr.’s deployment of the peaceful boycott; this protest lasted 13 months. Liberation theology is based off of concern for the poor and the oppressed with emphasis on political reform, through recognizing the moral error in racism and injustice. In relation to the bus boycott, the NAACP utilized this perspective to draw attention to the changes needed to be addressed and changed by society and government. 

The Montgomery Bus Boycott changed the legality of persecution regarding prejudice on the busses. However, as history showed, many white members of society were furious with the government changes. This lead to brutal retaliation that lead to the bombings of MLK’s home. Though the bus boycotts were a key factor in a longterm change for the future, all of the major moves of the NAACP were met with high retaliation from the white sectors of society. Eventually, the NAACP was better able to level the rightful playing field. The problem is, separate but equal continues today. Yet, the NAACP lives on and so do similar movements that use the same ideology: lack of love creates oppression, a grand injustice that must be rectified. 

from Montgomery Bus Boycott & Liberation Theology

Nov 1, 2018 11:59pm

Expansion via comments and opinions, ADD religion info:

The idea that Jesus did not like non-caucasian or LGTBQ+ (cont. below) people is such a odd idea to me. Jesus sacrificed His life so all of creation could be saved. He was hated and eventually crucified for His association with people society deemed unworthy and dirty. Jesus, if alive today, would have friends of all nationalities, from all religions, and all walks of life. Its an OLD and ludicrous idea that Jesus would walk around telling people they are going to hell. He did the opposite on earth, so clearly we should be doing what He would do today; loving without prejudice because love is communal, not skin deep.

The heart of Christian theology is to love all people as Jesus would in hopes that they may come to know God. Somewhere along the lines of bureaucratic and ignorant corruption, the bible and religion became a weapon of hate and destruction. What a tragedy. Religion, because man-made, has major flaws. God, however, has none. He loves all creation purely. MLK was an excellent example of this kind of love. He fought for the equality of all men and women with peace and with democracy. He was firm and unyielding in his faith that God created all people equal, and that is the epitome of the type of fight all christians should be fighting. As a pastor and as a man, he understood his duty to his fellow human.

Church and Human Rights

Gender Discussion

  1. The social construct of gender how society defines what it means to be male or female. There is a misconception of biology defining identity and therefore the away someone lives. However, culture has been making a shift toward the reality of all people being truly equal and that there are not roles specific to gender. For example, in a heterosexual relationship today, a woman can be the “breadwinner” and the man can be the stay at home parent figure. To expand, in a family situation where there are children being raised and cared for, it is becoming more widely accepted that a father can raise and nurture a child just as effectively as a mother could. A man’s ability to nurture, care, and rear a child expands beyond disciplinary actions and enters into emotional education. The other end of this is that a mother can be a CEO if she so chooses and the guilt and stigma is very slowly fading around that concept. But because people look at colleges the same more often, there is less bias and discrimination. That does not mean it does not exist though. There are biases that exist surrounding women not being able to perform in the work place as efficiently, that a family inhibits productivity. Here is where it gets interesting. Because a woman may choose to have a family, she may be passed up for promotions; here enters wage gap. I thoroughly enjoy the concept of maternal and paternal baby leave, as it equally frees up mother and father and does not discriminate the workforce. This does create a fiscal  debate, but that is for a different conversation. Over all, these gender roles are starting to change, and where the pressures are different for men and women, its starting to become more common. 

  2. Feminism is the advocacy of equal rights based off of sex. The first wave of feminism was primarily goal oriented on getting voting rights for women, second wave was about domestic responsibilities and issues, and the third wave is more about sexual health, violence, and liberation. There isn’t one way that feminists address sexism, institutionalism, or the glass ceiling. Feminism as a whole, currently advocates for all rights for all people. Topics of sexism, institutional discrimination, and the glass ceiling can be met a variety of ways which include political advocacy and protests. Mainly, feminists use the method of exposure. Media is a powerful tool that has exposed a lot of issues and promoted resolutions of them. Sexism is countered by the reality that all people are made equally and should be treated accordingly. Institutional discrimination is countered by exposure, choosing not to support unethical modes of entertainment and goods, and politicizing the change’s need. And the glass ceiling is addressed by saying it exists, but only is society lets it. Extremism and conservatism both exist within these actions. 

  3. Men are likely to be executives, protective services, farming, precision production. Women are likely to be professionals in a specific skill, technicians, admin, private household, and sales. Men are more likely to make more. The wage gap is mainly based on the possibility or the ability for a woman to have a family. Women are passed up on promotions due to the chance that a family or the possibility of one my serve as a hindrance for work getting one. It ultimately leads to a big discriminatory issue that has less to do with gender, but being a mother. The way to change this is to offer, promote, and enforce paternity leave.

  4. The second shift is the term used to describe the responsibilities given to a mother once home, after work, her “second shift” of work begins. This includes tasks like getting children to bed, cleaning the house, or doing laundry. I do believe it is possible tot equalize the second shift on a relationship by relationship basis. If both partners in a relationship share work and labors of love equally, it makes the responsibility more equal.

from Gender Discussion 

Nov 30, 2018 11:08pm

Expansion via comments and opinions, ADD religion info:

When it comes to the LGBTQ+ community, religion has always had issues with it. This stems from the biblical interpretation of homosexuality being a sin. Here is where I have a problem with christianity in particular. The Bible states that all people are born in the image of God, thus perfect. Also, that men whom have sex with other men are sinners. Basically, at conception, a person is perfect, but their sexual choices make them sinners. That, I agree with, sex outside of a committed relationship, in my opinion is a sin. Sex is made to honor one other person, the person someone wants to spend forever with. The bible harshly reprimands ALL sexual immorality. This means lust, rape, abuse, provocativeness, etc. When it comes to being gay, if you are born that way, you are made perfectly. I cannot choose to love a woman, I love my boyfriend of five years. Therefore, I cannot look at a gay man or woman and say “fall in love with someone else.” We cannot choose whom we love or if we love. Therefore, the conservative christian demonization of homosexuality is a stagnant-minded and limited argument that is doing more harm than good.

The only thing I have to discern over is what does it means to be transgender. If you are born female, feeling that you are a man, I cannot say you don’t feel that way or that you were not created to feel that way. Plus, I empathize for that person suffering. In the same breath, I feel people are born perfect, so why change yourself physically? However, if it makes you happy, who am I to say you cannot make changes to improve your outlook on life? And another perspective I have heard recently of psychologists saying being transgender is a form of body dysmorphia. At the end of the day though, I don’t have a strict opinion on being transgender and I shouldn't, its not my place to have damning beliefs on anyone. I simply chose to not allow my lack of understanding change whether or not I love that person. Sexuality and gender identity will never make me love someone less, even if I cannot fully understand how or why. I am not God. I will never fully know. My job as a steward of faith is to just love fully regardless of someone being different than me or what a religion says. God wants me to love everyone, so I will do just that. When it comes to closed-minded Christians, though, for them to discriminate, place ignorance onto, and to hate the LGBTQ+ community is not only unfair, its severely damaging to the people of God (yes, LQTBQ+ people are people of God too). No person should feel as if they don’t belong, especially not by people whom are supposed to stand for our all-inclusive Savior.

Education: The Backbone of Prosperity

General Idea: children are the major participants, but they are controlled by governing and influential bodies that dictate their education and the perception of it

  • Economics: Socioeconomic Status is directly related to education level; Higher education level, more money into the economy

  • Government: policy change that makes education more inclusive and equal

  • Media: change society’s perspective for youth and adults; education is for everyone, take advantage of it

Economics: society must advocate for education because it is beneficial to the economic wellbeing of a country

  • More educated people = higher SES = more money back into the economy

  • If a country improved edu. equality by .1%, over 40 years, a country can raise its income per capita by 23%

    • The poverty line for the average three person family is $20,780, an increase of 23% would be $25,559.4; a significant change by just .1% of making education more equal

  • Harvard too supports the claim “[there is a] strong relationship between cognitive skills and economic growth should encourage continued reform efforts”

Government: policy change that makes education more inclusive and equal

  • On average: low-income student scored 42nd percentile on state exams; middle/high-income student scores 61st percentile on state exams

  • It is well known that public schools are funded buy local property taxes, creating “The Neighborhood Effect”

    • Ex. Chicago’s Rondout School is in an affluent area: 22 teachers, 145 students, spent $28,639 on each student

  • Reform? Federal rather than local funding for public schools.

Media: information is at our fingertips, media promoting education is for the best

  • Perspective shift: education is for everyone, media/marketing is insisting that everyone can go back to school for a higher education, this in turn has increased the working student in enrollment

    • 30% of all 6 million new enrollments in college have at least one online class

      • This allows for a more flexible school schedule, making work and school easier to balance

      • ⅓ working learners are 30 or older; 40% of undergraduates and 76% of graduate students work at least 30 hours a week; 25% are employed full-time/in college full-time; 19% of all working learners have children

Summation: As children grow in a world more technologically advanced, with a wage gap steadily increasing, it is of the utmost importance that children are supported by facts, policies, and media that fights for education to be easier to obtain and more equal for all”

From Sources/Project: HERE

Education is the foundation of our country. Children are dictated and controlled by this system often before they are even born. Economics are based off of how well money is coming in and out of the market. Statistically speaking, with a basic degree, a person is able to make a significant amount more of money than a person without. Logically, this means more money being earned, spent, and bolstering the economy. However, this logic isn’t always appreciated because people assume that higher paid people mean more competition in the work place, having to pay employees more, and most people don’t give education a second thought. These are all mindsets that need to change. Even though jobs could possibly be more difficult to obtain and profits wouldn’t be as large, the over all health of the economy is a far more important than an individual’s wealth. At the end of the day, money doesn’t mean anything if the economy isn’t there to give it value. On a more ethical side, if improving education helps improve the wellbeing of more families and additionally helps to keep more children out of harms way, that should be looked at as a priority for all Americans. My future children are equally worthy to have a good education as any other child. And if change for the entire country allows for higher, more equal education and this allows for food security, safer towns, and a more prosperous society, I am glad to give up some of my money to do just that. In my opinion, the biggest obstacle to education being a more equal playing field, is the political sphere. As soon as we can vote in the right people in to office and push for the right legislation, I feel that the United States could actually make the changes needed to have a more European approach to education for all.

Final Reflection

This semester was a neat exploration of big, overarching topics that are pinnacle to the functioning of society. The concepts of how people perceive the world is very interesting and allowed for perspectives that are different than I had thought of before. Sure, some concepts were more light while others were more dark, but contrast is exactly what is needed in an academic setting to engage and learn. This class has allowed me to critically think and solidify my outlook on humanity: that with a more empathetic stance, we can do so much more for society as a while.

My life’s mission is to work with abandoned and abused horses/livestock in order to inspire others to get through whatever it is they are struggling with. While in the process, becoming more empathetic toward other’s struggles. When someone is personally struggling, yet able to adequately empathize with another person's struggle, their experience with discrimination and inequalities become a personal attack rather than something happening to someone else. If more people had that perspective, there would be less suffering in the world. We cannot fix all things broken in the world, but at least we can help fix some with a little shift in outlook.