Kathryn Ruth Stam


Kathryn Ruth Stam is an author, public speaker, and professor of cultural anthropology at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, NY. She has a Ph.D. in social science from Syracuse University. She has published scholarly work in a variety of areas including information studies, Thai studies, Himalayan studies, and refugee studies.

Kathryn started her cross-cultural journey as a study abroad student in Kathmandu, Nepal through the School for International Training. A former Peace Corps volunteer (1988-91), she was also a Fulbright scholar (2010-11) in Northeast Thailand. An advocate for resettled refugees and volunteers at the Midtown Utica Community Center (MUCC), she maintains a project called “Refugees Starting Over,” which includes a large collection of images of refugees, of which most were taken by the refugees themselves. A speaker of Thai and Lao, she knows only enough Nepali to get her into trouble but not get her out of it.

In recent years, writing creative non-fiction about her cross-cultural life has become an obsession. Kathryn shares stories that reveal the subtleties of cross-cultural relationships and the pure joy that comes from making friends with people who come from different backgrounds and speak different languages.

The image above is from Luang Prabang, Laos (Jan. 2011)

Photo Exhibits and Collections

I welcome you to browse through the photo galleries. Much of my work has involved collaborations between myself and community members. I have co-curated exhibits in local galleries, universities, and museums.

Galleries: Images and media old and new, home and away.

My Homestay Families around the World

Global Splendor exhibit at the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute. Aug. 2019. Utica, NY.

Adventures in cross-cultural communication

All of my work, from scholarly articles to exhibits to stories from my upcoming memoir, address the themes of culture, cross-cultural understanding, and the importance of trying to understand each other’s world views.

The best way to contact Kathryn Stam is by Email: stmkath @ gmail.com or stamk @ sunypoly.edu