Dec. 14, 2015Vol. 46, Issue 3

Life after Chico

An alum's career at Disney

Every day, alum Katie Brown watches as young children undergo an amazing transformation. From the fun-filled day’s beginning, when the children under her watch are feeling the most nervous about what’s to come, to its end, when they start to view themselves as leaders, witnessing and participating in their growth is an integral part of Brown’s career at Disneyland and California Adventure.

Brown (BA, Musical Theatre, ’07) has the privilege of working as a guest talent coordinator and production coordinator for Disney Performing Arts, as well as a facilitator for the Disney Youth Education Series. These two programs bring various types of guests to the park, including children’s performing groups like school choirs, marching bands, and dance groups, in addition to Girl Scouts and school leadership programs.

These student groups perform or take part in a number of workshops taught by professionals. For this particular program, Brown helps coordinate some of the pre-production and day-of operational aspects. For instance, after initially meeting the children in the morning, Brown takes them back to their workshop area before they go back out to perform.

Spreading joy is Brown’s driving motivator. Sometimes, it’s simply seeing the joy on children’s faces after a great performance. Other times, it’s the joy in witnessing kids learn to view themselves as leaders by the end of the program. Developing this kind of self-confidence early on can play a crucial role in their personal development, she knows. 

“I have done some pretty fantastic things in my life so far, and I think it’s hugely thanks to Chico.”

Katie Brown (photo courtesy of Brown)

Katie Brown (photo courtesy of Brown)

In whatever way she can, even if it’s smiling at a stranger on the street, Brown tries to bring joy to others.

“In this day and age, it’s so difficult with all the things going on in the world to remember to be grateful and to see those joyful moments,” she said. “Now, I’m not perfect and it doesn’t happen every day, but I do try, and I think that’s my main goal.”

Looking back, it isn’t hard for Brown to see the ways Chico State prepared her for such an impactful job.

At Chico State, Brown was very active in many different areas, including the Honors in General Education Program and a particularly memorable class, Mind and the Machine, which she says prepared her to think about things from many different perspectives.

She also took advantage of all of the opportunities that the Department of Music and Theatre presented her. These activities ranged from working in the scene shop, the costume shop, and the prop shop to managing the stage and holding recitals. In fact, this is how she got a job right out of college with the North State Symphony.

Music and theatre faculty like Bill Johnson taught Brown a lot about flexibility and the importance of thinking quickly on one’s feet, in addition to planning ahead, she said.

“I feel that (Chico State) really prepared me for everything that I’m doing and everything that I hope to do in the future,” she said. “I have done some pretty fantastic things in my life so far, and I think it’s hugely thanks to Chico.”

Rachel Ward is CSU, Chico’s social media intern and a double major in women's studies and small business and entrepreneurship. 

Art professor J. Pouwels exhibited at 1078 Gallery in Chico, “Interference,” in November.


Jerome Pouwels exhibited at 1078 Gallery in Chico in November.  Read More

“Holidays Are Here Again”

Holidays are here again

Student vocalists composed and recorded an original holiday song. Watch the recording.