Alumni Spotlight

Meet the Altmans


Dr. Michael Altman (‘06) and his wife Emily (‘06) met and fell in love while both majoring in Religious Studies at CofC. The career paths they took after graduation couldn’t be more different. Dr. Altman is a newly, tenured faculty member in Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, and Ms. Altman is a doula and lactation consultant. Husband and wife both respect and acknowledge how majoring in religious studies helped them developed skills needed to excel in their chosen occupations. Here are a few words from them about their experience, and how they still rely on those lessons learned 13 years ago.
Dr. Altman:
“Between the two of us, I think the effect of my RELS degree is the one that’s obvious. I went on to get a PhD and now I work in a religious studies department. But what I think is less obvious is how much my time in the department at C of C prepared me for this career. I read Russell McCutcheon’s work as an undergrad and now I work a few doors down from him in our department here. The kind of religious studies that the department at C of C does, asking questions about power, authority, culture, and social formations, prepared me to ask those questions as I moved on to grad school and the professoriate. I discovered religious studies at the College and the department put me on the path toward the career I enjoy now.” 
Mrs. Altman:
“Currently, I work as a birth doula and lactation consultant, providing non-medical support to pregnant, laboring, and nursing mothers and babies. My RELS degree has been a huge help for me as I have found my own career path. Religious Studies taught me critical thinking and communication skills that I use in my career as a birth doula. But even more importantly, Religious Studies taught me how to learn new things quickly. That was so helpful when I decided to pursue training in birth work. Religious studies is more than just learning about world religions, it’s learning how to work with difference, learn new skills, and interpret the world around you. I use that everyday.”