Catana Tully was adopted as a baby by a German family in Guatemala in 1940. She grew up trilingual (German, Spanish, English) in Guatemala where she attended elementary and middle school. In tenth grade she entered an exclusive boarding school in Jamaica, WI and received her Advanced Level Higher Schools Certificate from Cambridge University, England. Expecting to become an international interpreter, she continued her studies at the Sprachen und Dolmetscher Institut in Munich, Germany.
However, she was called to work in a play and discovered her affinity for the dramatic arts. She became the actress and fashion model Catana Cayetano and appeared in Film and TV work in Germany, Austria, and Italy. In Munich she met and married the American actor Frederick V. Tully and ultimately moved to the United States. They have a son, Patrick. In Upstate New York, she completed the BA in Cultural Studies, an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Literature, and a DA (doctor of Arts) in Humanistic Studies.
She held the position of tenured Associate Professor at SUNY Empire State College, from which she retired in 2003. She returned in 2005 for part time work in ESC’s Center for International Programs, where she served as Mentor and instructor in the Lebanon program, and as Interim Program Director for the Dominican Republic. In 2011 she retired completely to dedicate herself to publishing Split at the Root: A Memoir of Love and Lost Identity. Spring semester 2013 the book was required reading as case study in USC’s (University of Southern California) Master of Social Work program; it is scheduled as required reading in spring 2014 for juniors majoring in English Literature at Georgian Court University in NJ. Currently, Split at the Root is being translated into German and French.
A popular academic mentor, Dr. Tully now makes use of her communicative skills as a dedicated coach. She now works with young and older adoptees who do not look like their parents, and parents who have or are planning to adopt interracially. She offers adoptees words of wisdom and tools to strengthen their impaired images of themselves, their race, their religion, and their culture.