Kathleen Fairbanks Rubin—Border person, Fronteriza, TCK, CCK —grew up and lives between cultures and ethnicities. She values and works to understand interstices—in-between spaces—borderlands that exist between people, countries, organizations. She has been bilingual and bicultural since first grade in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico where she learned to read and write in Spanish before she did in English.
Born in Santa Barbara, California she attended a different school each year and sometimes two, first in the U.S., then in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Returning to the U.S., she went to two different high schools in rural northern Michigan before returning to California, and UCLA.
Most of her professional life was as founder and partner of Human Resource Systems, an organization development and training firm. There she developed customized management and cross-boundary communication programs for staffs of California state government departments (Education, Head Start, Corrections, Probation) and private organizations.
As Director of Extension, Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena, California, USA she created and administered bilingual (English, Korean, Armenian, Spanish) teacher training programs and as Adjunct Faculty conducted seminars on biculturality and borderness.
Her most recent conference presentation, Owning Multiple and Complex Belongings in the Borderlands, was in Osaka, Japan, at the Asian Conference on Cultural Studies 2014 (ACCS) sponsored by the International Academic Forum (IAFOR). Conference theme: “Borderlands of Becoming, Belonging and Sharing”. The paper was one of the few accepted for publication in peer-reviewed IAFOR Academic Review.
Prior papers presented at UCLA’s HR 2000: Managing the Multicultural Workforce, Border People in Organizations; at the Second International Conference on Borders in Iberoamerica, Fronterizos: Keys to Transboundary Communication; at the Association of Borderland Studies Conference, The Value of a Border Perspective in Organizational Communication; and, at Families in Global Transition Conference World Core Borderlanders and a Global Citizen Continuum.
Among Worlds, a magazine for Third Culture Kids has published several of her articles. She considers herself a TCK adult, a Global Nomad and a Cross Cultural Kid. Themes of her short stories and poems come from living in-between.
She continues writing and researching the learnings of people who cross many boundaries in their lives in order to expand consciousness about our right to own more than one culture. She lives in Orange County, with her husband and misses their five pound Chihuahua, Chica Fresa.