As a varsity volleyball player, Catherine knows the importance of teamwork. She and her volleyball teammates support each other in every way through challenges and victories, and learn from their setbacks along the way.
From her first days on campus, Catherine was working in teams in the classroom as well, gaining a true appreciation for the power of WPI’s project-based curriculum. “With project-based learning, teamwork is necessary for success, as is being able to communicate with classmates,” she said. “The leadership skills I have adopted from volleyball have helped me be an effective contributor in group work.”
Early exposure to hands-on learning has also benefitted Catherine in the lab, where she is working on biophysical research with Professor Arne Gericke. “With lab setup, you are writing––and re-writing––your own procedures for experiments as part of the troubleshooting process,” she says. “Being exposed to that so early in my WPI career has really helped me to excel in my research position in Professor Gericke's lab.”
Catherine also appreciates the strength and camaraderie of the WPI community. “People want to push you to exceed on your own and as independently as possible but are always there for support and are always willing to help and give you advice,” she says.
That is why Catherine lends her voice, leadership, and expertise as a member of several councils on campus, including the Student Athletic Advisory Council (SAAC), where she is the representative for volleyball. “We act as liaisons between the athletic department and teams where issues involving athletes and teams can be brought up. We have a lot of discussions about inclusivity and diversity among sports teams and create a sort of network for athletes to get extra help in classes, meet new people, and access other resources,” she says.
Catherine believes WPI’s class structure prepares students for real-world opportunities. “We learn teamwork, collaboration, problem-solving, and time management skills. This allows an easy transition for WPI students into the workforce.”