WSU Alumna’s Article Appears in Prestigious Jazz Music Journal – The Daily Evergreen
Former undergraduate student publishes article on the history of women in the jazz music genre
Former WSU student Kaitlyn Van Vleet’s thesis has been selected for publication in Jazz Education Networks’ Journal for Jazz Education in Research and Practice.
Van Vleet’s article, “Women in Jazz Music: A Hundred Years of Gender Disparity in Jazz Study and Performance,” focuses on the role of women in jazz and the barriers female jazz musicians face in reaching the top. of the profession.
“I kind of did my research and the interviews while I was writing as well,” Van Vleet said. “In January  I started doing a lot of research…and then in March, I just wrote it.
For the article, Van Vleet spoke to artists including Grammy-nominated singer Roseanna Vitro and pianist Pamela York. She said the artist interviews were one of the most memorable aspects of the projects.
“I was surprised at first that a lot of these people were willing to talk to me,” Van Vleet said. “These are the kind of people you study and look up to… You think ‘there’s no way this person will contact me again’, so it was impressive that they were willing to do that.”
The paper began as a dissertation for the Honors College, passing with distinction, despite having limited time, she said. Van Vleet did nearly his entire thesis during his final semester at WSU.
One of the professors who sat on the jury and judged her thesis was Ashley Boyd, an associate professor of English. Boyd said she was impressed with Van Vleet’s work.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for an undergraduate to be published,” Boyd said. “What I liked most about [Kaitlyn’s Thesis] it was that she had a research aspect, in terms of investigating literature in the field…but she also did research in terms of actually interviewing people…I think she went beyond- beyond expectations that way.
Van Vleet said preparing the article for publication was a challenge, as it required major formatting changes and because she had to make significant cuts to the article. The original thesis was around 12,000 words, while the maximum word count of the journal is only 8,000.
“By the time you get to your last three words, you go back and nitpick and try to turn some of your words into contractions if you can,” Van Vleet said.
In the future, Van Vleet hopes to divide his time between his passion for music and a career in his specialty, criminal justice and criminology. She said she wasn’t working on any items at the moment, but wanted to continue playing the saxophone and stay involved in music.
“I don’t want to sacrifice that for a career in criminal justice,” Van Vleet said. “I want to keep doing it next door. Like cafe jazz, that sort of thing.