April 12, 2023

Senior Speaker: Katrina Kuzmina BA ’23

Katrina Kuzmina BA ’23 will address graduates at the College of Arts and Sciences commencement on May 6.

Katrina Kuzmina BA '23

Katrina Kuzmina BA ’23, a Davis United World College scholar from Moscow, Russia, will be the student speaker at the College of Arts and Sciences commencement on May 6. We spoke with Kuzmina, a rhetoric and media studies major with an entrepreneurial leadership and innovation minor, about her time at Lewis & Clark.

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Transformative, Dynamic, Interconnected

What made you want to come to L&C?

I was drawn to Lewis & Clark’s stunning natural surroundings and magical fairy-tale environment. I also appreciated the small, tight-knit community of students and faculty who are dedicated to creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment. Additionally, I was excited about the opportunity to pursue a well-rounded liberal arts education that would challenge me intellectually and prepare me for a variety of career paths. Overall, I felt that L&C would be the perfect place for me to grow academically, socially, and personally.

How do you feel supported as an international student?

The international student community was the first group of people I felt a sense of belonging with on campus. The mentors and international officers provided us with guidance and support, helping us navigate everything from cultural differences to academic expectations. Knowing that there are people available to support me has been invaluable in making me feel at home at Lewis & Clark.

How did you choose your major and minor?

I chose to major in rhetoric and media studies due to my perpetual curiosity regarding human interaction and communication, as well as the underlying ideological systems that drive communicative practices and discourses. I also took a very impactful introductory class with Visiting Assistant Professor Heather Ashley Hayes, whose thought-provoking, insightful, and engaging teaching inspired me for further exploration of the discipline. Minoring in entrepreneurial leadership and innovation became a way for me to leverage my diverse interdisciplinary liberal arts education into a powerful set of professional skills and experiences.

What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge?

While it is difficult to pick just one favorite class from a colorful mosaic of unique academic experiences, I would say my favorite has been the Marketing Seminar with guest lecturers Amanda Hill and Gary Korotzer through the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership. Coming into the class with a biased perception of marketing’s ethical consequences, I left the course with a full understanding of the power of brand identity and marketing strategy as well as the various applications of marketing as a tool.

What was your favorite activity outside of class?

I’d say being a dancer and a choreographer for LC Dance Company. Being a part of a community with people who share a passion for dance has been really inspiring. The freedom and flexibility—together with the support and structure that LCDC provided—were perfect for my artistic growth and development as a choreographer. I had a lot of fun and was able to find new ways of connecting with people at Lewis & Clark and bringing different people together for a creative collaborative process.

How has L&C changed you?

Without a doubt, the person I was when I first came to Lewis & Clark and the person I am now are two different people. The amount of growth, learning, and personal development that has taken place for me during my time at L&C is substantial. Through challenges, and with the support and warmth of the community, I have come to a stronger, more stable sense of self. I have discovered my voice and learned to tap into my strengths. I have met people with beautiful souls who have impacted me and my journey and have become my family.

What message do you hope to convey at commencement?

I want to encourage my fellow graduating seniors to take time in this transitional space of liminality to reflect on our journey and on what we want to take further with us beyond the point of graduation—what we want to amplify, and what we are ready to leave behind. I also hope to emphasize the timelessness of our experiences and connections we have made here at L&C. Despite the passing of time, they will stay with us through the impact they’ve had on who we are.

What are your post-graduation plans?

Right after graduation, I will be going on a road trip with my bestie!

Rhetoric and Media Studies Entrepreneurship Commencement