Student Profiles

Kathryn Papanek '07

Kathryn Papanek

Kathryn Papanek '07

Major: Classics
Hometown: Piedmont, California

Why did you choose to come to Bowdoin?
Many of the people from my high school go to college in California, but I knew I wanted to go somewhere on the East Coast. I didn't visit Maine until after I was accepted, and everything I knew about the state came from Stephen King novels. When I visited the college, though, I really appreciated the beautiful campus. The variety and quality of the food also influenced my decision, particularly since I'm a vegetarian.

Why did you choose your major?
I came to Bowdoin with no idea of what I wanted to major in. However, the summer before my freshman year, I traveled throughout Italy and Greece and participated in an archaeological program in Athens. Consequently, when I came to Bowdoin, I wanted to learn more about ancient cultures.

Moreover, the classics department is very small and even introductory classes often have just five or six people in them. I also liked how as a classics major I was able to take courses in many different departments, including archaeology, art history, history, and religion.

What has been a course you especially enjoyed at Bowdoin?
I have really enjoyed taking both Law and Society and Constitutional Law with Professor Richard Morgan in the government department. He has been teaching at Bowdoin for more than thirty years and has lots of entertaining stories to tell about the school. People often assume classes on constitutional law are very boring and intimidating, but Professor Morgan is very good at explaining the material while making it interesting at the same time. His wry sense of humor also makes him a memorable lecturer.

Have you engaged in any independent research while at Bowdoin?
Last semester I did an independent study with classics Professor Irene Polinskaya on the portrayal of lesbian women in the writings of Ovid, a prominent Roman writer. While there has been a great deal of focus on homosexuality in the ancient world in recent years, the experiences of women are often left out of the picture. I really enjoyed working independently on such an interesting subject.

What extracurricular or work experiences have you had at Bowdoin?
This year, I organized the first annual Bowdoin Women in Business Convention along with co-presidents Jennifer Xu '07 and Haley Bridger '07. The Bowdoin Women in Business club is new this year, so one of our major challenges was to get the club established and recognized among the student body. I mainly focused on publicity and advertising for the club, creating a commercial with student comedy group Ironic T-shirt, publishing a newsletter, and setting up our club's Web site. We really received a great response from students and alumni after the Convention. I hope it will be the first of many successful events for the club!

One of my favorite extracurricular experiences has been working as Senior Interviewer for the Office of Communications and Public Affairs. The Senior Interviewer is the person responsible for selecting students and editing their responses for this profile. My boss, Associate Director of Communications Susan Danforth, has been extremely helpful and supportive throughout this year. I would like to work in publishing after graduation, and working for the Communications Office has taught me a great deal about writing under deadlines and making the profiles understandable to a large audience while still maintaining the authenticity of the students' experiences. I am also constantly surprised and amazed by how different everyone's time at Bowdoin has been.

Did you study abroad during your time at Bowdoin?
I studied abroad at Corpus Christi College at Oxford University during my junior year. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to travel around Europe and was also able to visit Thailand during my spring break.

What have you done during your summers?
The summer after my freshman year I taught English and lived with a local family in a small village in Nepal. Teaching second and third graders was a very demanding and challenging experience, but was also extremely rewarding.

I've spent the other summers doing a variety of internships in marketing and publishing. During the summer after my sophomore year, I interned with the advertising department of a publishing company and at a literary agency in New York City. Last summer, I interned in the marketing department of Granicus, a technology company in San Francisco, and worked as an editorial assistant at Curve, a women's magazine. I came to college without a clear idea of what I wanted to do after graduation, and I feel that interning has really helped me to explore different industries and to determine what career options I would like to pursue after college.

What is your best Bowdoin memory?
A month after I arrived at Bowdoin, I went to an introductory meeting for a club and met another student there who ended up becoming my best friend at Bowdoin. I almost didn't go to that meeting, and I'm so glad that I did. Neither of us ended up doing anything with the club, but still I think it's really amazing how you can develop such strong friendships here. My friend and I have lived together, spent summers together, and traveled to four different continents in the past four years. I think one of the best things about this school is how a chance meeting can turn into a lifelong friendship.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I am going to attend the Columbia Publishing Course, a six-week course on book and magazine publishing in New York City. The course focuses on networking and job preparation, and I hope to find a job in publishing afterwards.

What quirky or fun thing did you wish you knew before you came to Bowdoin?
I wish I had known that you could order non-academic books through MaineCat, the College's interlibrary loan service. I am a very fast reader and often enjoy reading books, such as Cecily von Ziegesar's Gossip Girl series and Paris Hilton's biography, that I might not actually want to buy. I would recommend that anyone who likes to read for pleasure explore the books available on MaineCat. I will definitely miss my (almost) unlimited supply of light reading.

Story posted on May 24, 2007

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