Four years ago, Catherine Chen walked into my Honors Chemistry class as a freshman and a newly arrived international student – a little bit timid but with a big smile on her face, eager to get her new adventure underway. After four years of seeing her smiling face around campus, she is leaving us to take off on her next big adventure – attending Barnard College in New York City.
Catherine had a lot of options – she was accepted to both UCLA and Vanderbilt – but she believes that Barnard will be a perfect fit for her. A small women’s college with a unique connection to Columbia University, Catherine was first attracted to Barnard because of its reputation for empowering women and the opportunity to live in Manhattan. By combining the attentive setting of a small liberal arts college with the extensive resources of a major, Ivy League university, Barnard women go on to success in a wide range of fields.
Catherine is interested in studying Human Rights, Sociology or Political Science and double majoring in Statistics. These interests were influenced by her time at Cape Henry. While she says she enjoyed her science classes and, specifically, that Mr. Rodgers’ AP Physics class solidified her understanding of calculus and taught her to think in a logical way, she was most influenced by the history department. She says that Mr. McGraw’s AP US Government class helped her understand US society and ignited her interest in political science. When speaking of Mr. Palmer she says with a big smile, “he’s the nicest ever!” (Don’t tell the sophomores heading to AP US Government next year!)
However, her relationship with Dr. Cori Perkins has been especially impactful. Catherine describes Dr. Perkins as a great mentor who has been supportive of her decisions about college and about life. In addition to sparking her interest in statistics, human rights and social justice, Catherine says of Dr. Perkins, “she’s just really bright and willing to discuss issues with you.”
While Catherine says she will miss her teachers, friends and many activities at Cape Henry – she played Varsity Softball for two years, was a member of the Mock Trial team, and an active member of the SPCA Club – she’s ready, and feels very well prepared by CHC, to move on to the next big adventure!