All over the country, college students are now in the midst of studying, cramming, and writing final exams and papers. This week’s Rockstar has something that no amount of energy drink, Cliff Notes, or Wikipedia articles could ever supply: a huge serving of of inspiration. 21-year-old Katie Washington has recently been declared the valedictorian of the University of Notre Dame’s graduating class of 2010. An incredible feat that’s exponentially magnified due to the fact that Washington is the first black valedictorian in Notre Dame’s 161-year-old history. Although the university does not keep record of each valedictorian’s race, no faculty or administrator has been able to recall any black valedictorian in the past.
Originally from Gary, Indiana, Washington was also crowned valedictorian in 2006 at her alma mater West Side High School. Throughout her college career, she has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA while majoring in Biology and minoring in Catholic Social teaching. Choosing Washington’s most impressive accolade most likely leads to coin tosses. How could one possibly choose? Is it the lung cancer research she has conducted? How about her performing genetic studies on mosquitoes transmitting dengue and yellow fever? Maybe her co-authoring a research papers with her Biology professor? Of course, her mentoring and tutoring for the Sister-to-Sister at South Bend community’s Washington High School definitely gives her an A+ in our book. Following in the medical footsteps of her father, Washington will be joining the joint M.D./Ph.D program at John Hopkins University next school year.
“I am humbled,” Katie Washington said, during an interview with The Northwest Indiana Times. “ I am in a mode of gratitude and thanksgiving right now.”