I had the pleasure of meeting one of my very coolest peers, Catherine Reid (above middle), my freshman year during one of the colder nights at NU. Her quick laugh and intense energy quickly warmed the room, and our friendship has only grown since that brief encounter three years ago. Cat, as she goes by, is one of the hardest working students I know at Northwestern. All Wildcats are passionate, but Cat goes above and beyond for the organizations and causes she cares about while fearlessly pursuing her dreams. Cat Reid, future political correspondent, has taken full advantage of NU’s opportunities and recently took some time out of her day to share her experiences with me.
Cat almost didn’t consider applying to Northwestern because of its proximity to her hometown, Springfield, IL, but during a campus visit on a cold, rainy, sleeting day her heart was set on becoming a Wildcat. She attributes that quick change of mind to NU’s unique and impressive combination of Big Ten athletics, a wildly active and robust student theater scene, and one of the top journalism schools.
I asked Cat to walk me through her time here at school, and the different experiences she felt shaped her last three (and a quarter) years. She is a senior this fall, and has seen many sides of Northwestern throughout her college experiences.
Taylor: How have you felt about your time so far at NU?
Cat: My time at Northwestern has not disappointed. I really do feel that I worked so hard my entire life to be surrounded by the caliber of students I’m surrounded by at Northwestern.
Taylor: Okay, so can you walk me through what you’ve done over the past couple of years at NU?
Cat: Okay so in fall of 2011, our freshman year, I began working for Northwestern News Network, our Emmy Award-winning news station, the first week of my freshman year, and I haven’t taken a day off since. It’s amazing to produce a full-length newscast every week with my friends, or more accurately, my family. We have won three Emmys since I began working for the station, and my co-news director and I got to attend the Emmys just last week.
Fast forward to the Winter Quarter of 2013 when I participated in Medill on the Hill, a program that takes about 15 Medill students, gives them congressional press badges, and turns them loose on the city [Washington, DC]. When I was there, I reported on national security. I got to be one row behind Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi hearings, and I was right above President Obama during the State of the Union. My biggest accomplishment, however, came on Inauguration Day. I chose to follow a man in a wheelchair to see how well-prepared the event was for the disabled. It ended up being a disaster; we had to pick his wheelchair up multiple times to avoid curbs. I made a mini-documentary about the day, and through our connections at Medill I was able to have it posted as the top story under national news on the CNN homepage. Only at Medill!
That summer, I participated in the Global Engagement Summer Institute, a unique Northwestern program that pairs students with NGOs in developing countries. I lived with a host family for two months in a small rural village outside of Jinja, Uganda. I worked with a team of three other students to design a health project for the clinic with which we were paired. Our project was a community health representative program, designed to disseminate health knowledge in a community still wary of medical intervention.
Taylor: Wow! That’s amazing. What’s happening your final year?
Cat: Next quarter I’ll go on my Journalism Residency. I found out last night that I’ll be going to Lansing, MI! I will be reporting daily and appearing on camera for the evening newscasts. I can’t wait to do what I love every day while still being in college. Although the academics of Northwestern are amazing, I can’t wait to take a step back and spend time with my best friends for our last quarter. I have been very involved with my sorority, Alpha Phi, and it has provided the most amazing community of smart, fun and engaging young women. I will still be working for NNN, but in a smaller role so I can focus on having some fun, especially on Dillo Day 2015.