Katherine is a Junior Honors Scholar who is double majoring in Civic Innovation and a self-crafted major, Child Studies. She is passionate about education and the substantial impact it can have on the trajectory and quality of a child’s life, especially in developing countries. After college, she hopes to pursue this passion internationally by working with nonprofits that give students living in under-resourced countries access to quality education. On campus, Katherine is involved in many organizations including spiritual life groups, the Outdoor Program, the TEDxEHC team, and is the Honors Program Office Associate. Katherine is also currently working to design and implement an American Sign Language course at Emory, as well as co-leading an initiative to create gender-neutral housing for students on campus, in hopes of creating a more inclusive environment for everyone at Emory & Henry.
Q: What is the Honors Program to you?
A: The only way I can accurately describe the Honors Program at Emory & Henry would be that we’re a family. This seems super cheesy and cliche, but it’s what happens when you group together a diverse bunch of quirky (and personally, I think pretty awesome) individuals. We challenge and push each other to think more critically and develop new perspectives. We play Jenga to procrastinate writing papers and have ‘Goldfish fights’ in the lounge. We’re there for each other, and just as much as we want to see ourselves succeed, we want to see our peers/friends/‘family’ succeed even more.
Q: What advice would you give to First Year Honors Scholars?
A: SLEEP. I know this seems obvious, but between staying up late to hang out with your newly made best friends, trying to be active in every club or extracurricular group on campus, and procrastinating on that paper you should have started 3 weeks ago, you’re going to be tempted to put sleep on the back burner- fight this! College is full of new experiences and exciting opportunities that all seem to be competing for the precious amount of time you have after classes end each day. These things are great and can significantly add to and impact your college experience, but you must remember that your health and well-being also considerably color your time on campus. When you’re well rested, you’ll have the energy to fully appreciate and participate in everything college has to offer.
Q: What is one of your most significant experiences at Emory & Henry so far?
A: Last semester I had the opportunity to take a unique student-led course on global health care, and it was undoubtedly one of the most significant and influential experiences I’ve had at Emory & Henry thus far. Rather than being lectured by a professor, the class periods were led by various guest speakers via Skype. These speakers ranged from health care providers—both in the U.S. and in other countries—to major non-profit project managers. Because of the set-up, this course allowed me to gain an extensive range of perspectives that were eye-opening for me. Many of the topics covered in the course, I had either never heard of, or just never given much thought to. For instance, I didn’t realize the tremendous impact that simply improving the education system could have on lowering the rate of violence against women in a country. I didn’t understand that many of the problems being faced by developing countries are intertwined, and that if just one problem could be addressed, it would have such a substantial impact on improving so many seemingly unrelated issues as well. This class served not only to broaden my perspectives and knowledge of the world that I live in, but was also an awesome way to connect to people at Emory who are interested in many of the same things I am. Because the class had only 7 students, we were able to get to know and become comfortable with each other fairly quickly, which created a space both inside and outside of the classroom wherein we could learn about and discuss not only global health related issues, but so many others, on more than just a surface level. This dialogue (and the friendships that stemmed from it) became a huge part of why I loved my first semester at Emory so much.
Q: What has been the most rewarding aspect of being in the Honors Program?
A: I would have to say that the most rewarding aspect of my involvement in the honors program at Emory & Henry would be the tremendous personal growth I’ve experienced in just my first year. This growth is no doubt the result of both the awesome opportunities that the program has offered me, and the incredible people I’ve met through the program who push me on a daily basis to become not just a better scholar, but a better person.