“Our Royal Pride” is an occasional series celebrating Eastern Mennonite University’s undergraduate students who contribute to campus life in extraordinary ways in addition to their academic pursuits. These students enthusiastically create their own niches, constantly re-defining what it means to be an EMU Royal student “Like No Other.” Nominate a student with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quinn Kathrineberg, a senior at Eastern Mennonite University, sees community engagement as an opportunity to stand up for the marginalized in society: whether through her education major, the Student Government Association, or the Eastern Mennonite Student Women’s Association.
“Especially right now, in all of my classes, I’ve been having a lot of conversations about race,” says Kathrineberg. “I feel like it’s kind of my responsibility to keep having these conversations with people, and to be a voice for people marginalized – even on our campus, and to use the resources that I have to help everyone feel more included in our community.”
Kathrineberg’s future profession, teaching, became apparent to her as she learned about student marginalization.
“I was just ignited by lots of education disparities in the United States, and I was intrigued to know more about why the disparities exist,” says Kathrineberg, who transferred from Hesston College as a sophomore
Before coming to EMU, she spent a summer in Tennessee with the the Memphis Teacher Residency internship , which confirmed her career choice. She’s gained experience as a writing tutor in the Academic Success Center.
“I think that my calling is to be an educator, but I was reluctant to that at first; I didn’t want to be a teacher. But now I feel like that’s where I’m supposed to be.”
Coming as a junior to EMU, Kathrineberg knew she risked getting over-involved, so she became selective of how she’d spend her time.
“I didn’t want to stretch myself too thin,” she says. “I wanted to be sure that what I was doing was important to me.” Kathrineberg first got involved with the women’s association at a student organization social, and has since stepped into its leadership.
“I think EMSWA is a space for both fellowship and challenging conversations,” she says. “I am constantly reflecting on what it means to be a woman in today’s society, in my future workplace, and in academia, for example. Having a designated time and space for female fellowship keeps me accountable to check in with others so that we can learn from and empower each other.”
Kathrineberg and her co-leaders invite faculty members to meetings to connect personally with students, or host more informal conversations about gender issues in their house.
As for SGA, the co-president says she is working on initiatives “with an energetic team who cares about EMU” to help various demographics on campus feel more included.
While running between all of these activities, music provides her with a solid ground. Kathrineberg has played viola since the fourth grade, and has been involved in orchestra, an outreach string quartet and private lessons at EMU.
“I just find the practice really relaxing,” she says. “I think it’s taught me a lot of discipline, and it’s something that’s been with me all throughout growing up, and it’s brought me to a lot of different places. I’ve gotten to travel with it, and it connects lots of people.”
Kathrineberg joins Jacinda Stahly as the featured performers at the March 30 orchestra concert.