Kat Carvajal '12
An Always-Willing Leader
If there’s a lot to be said for students who are willing to seek out new experiences in new places, then Kat Carvajal has plenty to say. Both of Kat’s parents emigrated from Columbia before she was born and made their new home in a vibrant Hispanic community in New England. Kat grew up in Morris County, N.J. where she became accustomed to the “busier” way of life. “Growing up, I was kind of the ‘mother type’—very mature for my age,” she says. Being able to make the most of her time would become a vital skill for this aspiring doer.
When Kat arrived at GMC, she found herself caught up in a new environment and a new routine, but it didn’t take long for her to find her niche. Looking to expand her comfort zone, Kat decided to get involved with a few clubs on campus.
“I like to give back to the community,” she explains. “My roommate got me involved with the ICC (International Cultural Club) my freshman year. It really helped ease the culture shock for me.” Now Kat serves as the vice-president of the ICC and is helping organize many of their upcoming events, such as the “Global Bazaar” (which Kat described as an international version of the “Sexpo” event, sponsored by PANTS).
In addition to that, Kat serves as an RA on the third floor of North, which she lovingly calls “prime real estate” among the residence halls. She says that they have developed a close bond on her all-girls floor and enjoyed a number of successful floor programs so far this semester. “Most recently, we made Valentine’s Day cards for sick children. We had people out in the halls making them; it was a great turnout,” she says.
Thriving off of her desire to help the underprivileged, Kat also serves as president of Amnesty International (AI), which includes the responsibility of being the student area coordinator for the entire state of Vermont. Kat says that she’s really drawn to the initiatives that AI takes on and has wanted to give the GMC community a chance to jump on board – quite literally, even. AI will be sponsoring a “Get on the Bus” campaign, which is an annual day of human rights education and activism. Kat says there will be more details about how to become involved later in the semester.
On top of all of that, Kat also finds the time to excel in biology – one the college’s most rigorous academic programs. Over the years, Kat has become very passionate about the end-goals of science. “I want to be a part of research that makes a difference,” she explains. But that’s something Kat’s already doing, as she manages to squeeze in time as Prof. Mark Jordan’s (Biology/Environmental Studies) work study assistant, where she contributed to an ongoing study of various carnivores in Vermont, including bobcats possums, and fisher cats.
Looking ahead, Kat says that—characteristically—she doesn’t mind going far away and experiencing something new as she sets her sights on grad school. She’s hoping to continue her studies in microbiology and virology (which she’s studying now as part of her senior research) at an internship in Mobile, Ala. As for her expectations, they’re as clear as they are admirable. “I want to become the best biologist I can be,” she says.
By Chad Skiles ‘12