Katrina Van Dyke- Discovering Her True Calling

Katarina Van Dyke

Katrina Van Dyke, left, and her sisters Melinda, center, and Nicole carry on the family’s Badger tradition.

Academics and a family tradition of attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison drew Katrina Van Dyke to the state’s flagship university. And she arrived with a plan. Finish a genetics major in four years and continue in the graduate program in genetics counseling. “After my first year, my passion for working with children really started to outshine my ideas of chemistry and research,” she writes. Van Dyke’s new journey took her to the School of Education where she’s in her third of a five-semester sequence. She’s a math-science dual minor for elementary education and completed a certificate in gender and women’s studies.

The A. Gertrude Anthony Scholarship means she can spend 12 hours a week in the Madison schools, work part time for an after school program, remain a full-time student and make ends meet. “This scholarship is a stress relief,” she writes. “I very much appreciate the financial assistance that I have been provided. I am less stressed and better able to focus my energy on my learning.”

What have been your greatest learning experiences at UW-Madison?

My greatest learning experiences have occurred with my cohort. I am fortunate to be a part of a community of 24 pre-service teachers. We stick with each other over the five semester education program. We have been together for a year now, and it is amazing to work with a committed group of people who all have a common goal. The discussions and activities that we have had together have helped us to create a strong community of future teachers.”

What would you say to your scholarship donor?

I am very excited to be learning at the University of Wisconsin Madison. My time here has been wonderful and such a great experience. I will never forget my years here and the effort I have put forth to be successful in my teaching. Thank you for helping me with my success.

What is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus was in lower Frank’s (the cafeteria located in the Lakeshore dorm area) … because Babcock ice cream was sold there. Often, I would meet friends to get ice cream and to hang out. I have some wonderful memories of standing with my friends trying to decide which flavor(s) of ice cream to eat!