Katie was drawn to St. Lawrence for its welcoming community and incredible study abroad program. During the fall of her sophomore year, Katie studied in the Adirondack Semester, which opened her up to a way of life that strives for balance between nature and human society. During the semester she studied under professor Mary Hussmann, who taught Nature Writing; Through Mary’s classes Katie began to learn the art of rendering the natural world through writing, and this solidified her decision to become an Environmental Studies and English major. On her return to campus, Katie moved into the Greenhouse, SLU’s low-impact living theme house, and conducted environmentally themed programs with her housemates for the campus community.
In the spring of her junior year, Katie traveled abroad to Northern Ireland where she took time off from her major and focused instead on Peace and Conflict Studies. While there she traveled extensively through Ireland, hiked on the weekends with the school’s hillwalking club, and was funded by a Travel Grant through CIIS to research her family history in Counties Limerick and Cork. Her experiences abroad influenced her senior honors thesis, which was a collection of essays based on peace and the environment and looked at how one can find the balance between acceptance and advocacy. With guidance from her thesis advisor, professor Natalia Singer, and her Environmental Studies advisor, professor Glenn Harris, Katie learned to use creative writing as a way to explore and respond to critical questions.
Her time at St. Lawrence taught Katie the value of persistence, creativity, and community. She is thankful for having gone to a school where professors genuinely care about their students, and where fostering community means taking care of both the people and the environment.