Student Profile: Katherine Scott

Honors business major overcame obstacles to lead Student Diversity and Equality Council.

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Katherine Scott '18 approached her junior year at Christopher Newport with a resolve to get even more involved on campus and dedicate herself fully to the role of president of the Student Diversity and Equality Council (SDEC). The SDEC promotes an ​inclusive ​campus​ ​environment​ through community building, leadership development, educational programming, advocacy and recognition. The group has sponsored conferences on leading change across campus, as well as seminars on racial diversity.

“I have to admit, our year was quite a bit more about problem solving than goal reaching,” she explains. “We unexpectedly started the year with no adviser and no vice president of finance.” Despite these initial obstacles, Scott rallied the council together. “I have very high standards for myself and the organizations I lead,” she says. “I was often challenging the SDEC to be better.”

Dr. Jay Paul, Director of the Honors Program, is among those impressed with Scott's determination. “Her character struck us all,” he says. “The way she talked about other people showed her wisdom and her immense respect for everyone.”

In recognition of her efforts, Scott won a CNU student leadership award. “I was overcome with emotion. To hear the recognition of what I had done and to know that the CNU community felt my leadership was valuable was the most amazing gift I could have received,” she says. “It was the reassurance I needed, after a long year, that my work really meant something to CNU.”

Entering her senior year, Scott now turns her focus to working with the Collegiate Women's Network, a CNU chapter of the Peninsula Women's Network (PWN). “Last year one of my professors nominated myself and a few other CNU students to be part of a PWN focus group,” she explains. “PWN had been looking for more student feedback and activity, so we met with them and decided to create CWN.” Thanks to Scott, the CWN will now meet regularly to learn business skills, network and discuss what it means to be a woman in the workforce. CWN will also host panels and networking events that will be open to CNU students. “I'm really excited to take on more work with the group as I leave my role with SDEC,” she says. “I feel really strongly about the need for women to network and educate each other, especially at CNU.”

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