Katie Wilkinson - Biomedical Service Technician: Entry Level and All-Washington Academic Team

Katie WilkinsonBates' All-Washington Academic Team 2013
Katie Wilkinson, Biomedical Service Technician: Clinical Engineering
GPA: 3.70

When Katie was in high school, her parents made it clear they would not fund her higher education. "Going to college was a choice I made on my own," she says.

To help lessen the student loan debt she knew she would carry, she chose to attend a two-year college to earn her degree quicker, and so she could incorporate a full-time job into her busy school schedule.

Katie enjoys the two-year college setting. "The class size is much smaller and more intimate, so I can get the one-on-one help that I need, and a real sense of being involved in a group," she says.

Katie notes she also likes being a part of student government. She is the college's first president of its chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, and she also serves as the secretary for the Associated Student Government (ASG).

"The most significant endeavor I encountered while attending Bates was being a part of ASG," says Katie, who notes that Bates is the third two-year college she has attended. "In the past, I have chosen to fly under the radar and not be involved in student activities...I never spent extra time on campus, and was never a part of any groups," she says.

Last summer, her instructors Art Cutting and Keith Hawkins sparked her interest in student leadership when they suggested she join ASG. Her first reaction was to avoid spending time doing activities not directly related to earning her degree.

Then, she spoke with other active ASG class members. "They told me about how being a part of student government helps you build communication skills, allows you to be involved with other students and help them with their questions and concerns. It can also give you an inside look on how the college operates," adds Katie, whose goal is to become a certified biomedical service technician.

After considering the reasons, it didn't take her long to become engaged in leadership activities. Now, she goes to meetings about the college, helps classmates with any issues or problems, and "genuinely cares about how this college helps its students succeed," she says.

"I have not only found my voice, but I also serve as a voice for other students, and I feel privileged to do so,"    Katie adds.

When she's not studying or participating in student leadership and government activities,Katie can be found working full time as a support service technician in the operating rooms at Tacoma General Hospital in order to gain experience in the field and pay for college. 

"I am hard working and motivated to succeed, and I am proud of myself for not giving up," says Katie.