Katherine Sokol, a second year student at Westminster College, is a student leader actively involved in addressing issues of difference and inequality on campus. Katherine has worked in a variety of capacities on campus, and in the current political climate, has become curious and passionate about voter registration and informed voting among her peers. She is particularly interested in the area of information literacy and the critical thinking skills needed to separate “fact” from “fiction” in media consumption, across the political spectrum. Katherine’s approach to addressing social issues combines community organizing principles of making quality, unbiased information accessible and desirable for the target population, along with the creativity and curiosity of an artist. Katherine brings with her both an asset-based orientation to community development, as well as a desire for promoting informed engagement without reinforcing partisanship and polarization. Katherine represents the best of Westminster College’s values of promoting fairness, integrity, responsibility, and respect in her personal interactions with and leadership of her fellow students, as well as in her professional aspirations to use her commitments to contribute to the common good.
I have grown up all over the midwest- from Oklahoma to various parts of Missouri- only to end up living in Northern California and now attend college in Missouri. While every place my family has moved to is different, sometimes strikingly so, there were always two constants- every place was beautiful and unique, and there was also intense political polarization. As I started college I noticed how polarization affected my campus and caused divides throughout different organizations. After noticing that, a group of fellow students and I have been working to tackle this; from researching fact-based resources to working on a politically diverse team. I knew I wanted to work with political depolarization especially during election time because of the importance of spreading fact based information around my community. Working with my committee has inspired me to pursue a career in political consulting. I want to ensure that my fellow classmates see a team working together that is not biased for one side or another, but is instead a well-balanced group working together to increase voter registration on campus, showing that both sides of the political spectrum can work together.