Katherine is an incoming senior at Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish Washington, where she first enrolled as a self-proclaimed patron of the arts, but ended up falling in love with STEM as well. Whether it's playing her trombone in Jazz band, Wind Ensemble, and Pit Orchestra, or building an informative poster about the Tachystatin A protein, Katherine has always had a love for knowledge, and a hunger to improve it. She is one of first members of her school's Model UN club that was created this year, representing China in a debate about Global Health. She is also a member of her school's National Honor Society, where she she was fortunate enough to be apart of several committees aiding Children's Hospital through donations of craft kits and homemade blankets. Her biggest challenge in high school was when she boldly accepted the position of co-stage manager for the Spring Musical her sophomore year. Though highly stressful, this experience taught her both how to manage her time, and how to juggle many different problems at once!
First and foremost, Katherine considers herself a problem-solver, both in school and otherwise. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to untangle a puzzle and walk away with a solution. She believes it is always important to think both creatively and logically; that the two perspectives compliment each other well. The people who helped to prepared her for this internship are her 4/5/6 teacher, and her 11th grade Molecular biology teacher, as well as her highly supportive parents and older brother. They all taught her that nearly every problem can be solved, and just because something is difficult does not mean you should avoid it. Often it means you should tackle it head-on instead!
What fascinates Katherine about biology most is it's complexity. Oftentimes a system or organism will behave exactly as expected, like a machine. Other times it will be unpredictable, or even exactly opposite of how it should have reacted. The most interesting part is that there is so much of biology left to be discovered. While space exploration is often called the "new frontier", biology is a frontier all it's own, and it has always been here. Some theories discovered decades ago that were slandered and rebuked, are now upheld as truth. Some have been revised dozens of times over. There is never a guaranteed consistency in biology; how could there be when we know so little about it? There are countless factors to keep track of in every experiment, and Katherine cannot wait to get started.
However, she knows she must eventually narrow her focus to something more specific, at least to begin with. Her interests vary from day-to-day, depending on what new discoveries have recently been made. They can range from how different ecosystems react to the Earth’s ever-changing climate, to how gene editing can be used to prevent illness and disorders. She is also fascinated by the intersection of psychology and neuroscience. Her grandfather suffered from Parkinson’s disease in the later years of life, so she would like to be a part of the research being done on that as well. She hopes to explore many of these topics and more throughout college. Though she does not have a specific college determined at the moment, she is incredibly grateful for the invaluable experience she has had at ISB this summer. It has helped to grow both her confidence and ambition in the science field, and has made her feel ready to take on whatever challenges the future may hold.