Kaitlin Pataroque ’19

Where are you from?

Portland, OregonPhoto of Kaitlin Pataroque

What are your majors/minors?

Biology and Religious Studies with a minor in Chemistry

Why are you interested in studying these subjects?

I hope to enter the medical field and have always loved chemistry, so my science degrees just made sense. As for religious studies, I started taking those classes for fun to fulfill elective requirements. I realized that I enjoyed them so much and still had so much to learn… I had room for them in my schedule, so why not add it as another major?

What is your favorite class and/or faculty member, and why?

I’ve had three classes with Professor Timothy Beal, including an independent study, where we looked at what God’s actions would mean if stories from the Hebrew Bible were to be analyzed from the perspective of literary criticism.

I think I have a reputation in a lot of my classes (especially within the religious studies department) to ask a lot of questions. Professor Beal has always encouraged my intellectual curiosity– I frequently send him emails with lists of questions that I have, sometimes related to classwork, and sometimes not. He always makes himself accessible and puts a lot of thought into his responses to me. His mentorship has definitely pushed me to think critically and for myself, even if my opinion might not be the most popular one.

Why did you choose CWRU?

I actually committed to CWRU without having visited the campus. I was comparing it to another university and made a pro/con list, giving each criteria a point value. By the end, the two schools were tied, and I didn’t have that “gut feeling” about either of them that everyone told me that I would get. So I flipped a coin, which led to my decision to choose CWRU! My dad and I visited together after I put down the deposit. The thing that gave me a lasting impression of the campus was that each student that we stopped to ask questions was very friendly and generous with their time, despite our visit being the weekend before final exams. I try to pay it forward when I see prospective students with their parents by asking if I can answer any of their questions or walk them anywhere if they’re lost.

What do you like best about CWRU?

The people. I have so many friendships with people at this university that I never would have expected. A majority of my closest friends are from the Midwest/East Coast. I’ve also befriended a lot of international students and employees. People here also really take care of each other, despite being so busy. I’ve had individual conversations with my writing instructor, freshman SAGES instructor, and many others about personal challenges we’ve gone through, and there’s a really powerful, valuable trust that can be built even with people who come from such different backgrounds than me.

What do you like best about living in Cleveland?

The Cavs! (I have yet to actually go to one of their games, but the pride that I get from watching their games from my little screen on North Side is incredible)

Describe any research projects, study abroad, internship or other unique experiences and opportunities you have had as a result of being a CWRU student.

I’ve done cancer research in Portland since I was a sophomore in high school, and I continue that work during my summers. My most unique experience here would probably be the way that many of my friendships with international students developed the past two years. International students have their own move-in date, and many of them would arrive at all kinds of hours. I lingered around Wade during those evenings, helping students find their buildings and carry their belongings. That first week that they had arrived, we played a lot of ping-pong together. That’s how I met one of my good friends, who’s from Nigeria. He and I are both RAs together now on Mistletoe staff.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

My favorite thing that I do on campus is being an RA for freshmen. I am also involved in Cru, a Christian fellowship group. When I’m able to, I also volunteer with Food Recovery Network and Labre Homeless Ministry.

What are some of your other interests and hobbies?

I love watching basketball, playing board games, hearing others’ stories, and talking about God.

What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

Figuring out that medicine is where I feel called to.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In medical school! If I didn’t end up there, I might be a student at a seminary. I’ll probably still be studying though.