Cathleen Bateman '19
"I have met many personal and academic goals, found some of my lifetime friends, and feel overwhelmingly prepared to enter into my profession."
Cathleen Bateman applied to just two schools during her search for a college in 2015. When she stepped onto Marywood's campus, she immediately felt a sense of belonging.
"Marywood offered everything on my list - a small campus, a soccer team, 2 hours from home, and the opportunity to receive a dual major in Art Education and Family and Consumer Sciences," Cathleen said. "I was sold."
Cathleen had a plan coming into Marywood. She would play soccer for four years, graduate with two degrees, and eventually work with students as an educator.
"I entered freshman year convinced that I knew exactly who I was, what I was going to do, and the role Marywood would play in reaching those goals, just like any other 18 year old," Cathleen said.
Cathleen soon learned her plan would not unfold as she wanted it to. At the start of her sophomore year, she made a significant choice - she quit the soccer team to focus more on service work. Cathleen said quitting soccer was a very difficult choice, but also one that "sparked a shift" in her life.
"I had played soccer for many years and also grew up in a family in which quitting was rarely a choice," Cathleen said. "I began to make choices because they were the choices I felt strongly about, rather than the things I had always done."
Cathleen began to look for her "fit" - her purpose for being at Marywood. She found this purpose during a service trip to Guatemala with Marywood.
"On this trip, I was renewed," Cathleen said. "God showed me love, service and care for others, as well as significant awe over the many things he has created. Following this trip, I dove into service deeper than I ever could have imagined."
Cathleen was involved in service all during her time at Marywood, including her role as a Maxis Gillet Service Scholar. The Service Scholars are undergraduate students at Marywood who participate in weekly community service and assume leadership roles in community service activities coordinated through the Campus Ministry/Community Service Office. Cathleen served as a mentor to freshman Service Scholars, which she said was "a significant and influential role at Marywood."
"Everything I was working on aligned so closely with my new goals, which were less about where I ended up following school and more about the quality of person I intended to be," Cathleen said. "I have found that acknowledging the shifting process of having goals, recognizing callings, struggling and making hard decisions, and then reflecting on the ways we have grown, shapes the college experience that is found at Marywood and pushes us forward into the future."
With the end of Cathleen's undergraduate studies at Marywood nearly finished, she prepares not just for her career, but how to "share the person I am now because of Marywood" with the world.
"I owe great gratitude to the people who have helped shape and support Marywood," Cathleen said. "Your kindness allows students to have incredible and meaningful experiences and, hopefully, just as I have, gives them the chance to explore, challenge, and ultimately find themselves so they can go and serve their communities and the world. My heart is now tied to Marywood and I cannot thank all of the people who have aided me on this incredible journey enough."
Cathleen was the student speaker at Marywood's annual Scholarship Luncheon on April 7th, where she spoke about the impact Marywood and service has had on her. She is anticipated to graduate after the 2019 Spring semester and plans to pursue a career in education.