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AUTHOR: Nina Welding

PUBLISHED: March 15, 2019

The road to Notre Dame was the last one that Katherine Cameron intended to travel. She was tired of following in the footsteps of her oldest sister and wanted to make a name for herself, so she explored several universities. “I’d be set on attending a certain school until I would stay overnight. Then I’d usually find the academics were cutthroat, classmates were ruthless, and sports meant nothing,” she says. “I wanted a school that felt more like a family, offered academic rigor, and had great athletic programs.” Notre Dame checked all of those boxes for her.

A Jacksonville, Fla., native and part of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at Notre Dame, Cameron is studying aerospace engineering. As a Midshipman, she has learned to strike a balance between the military discipline of the ROTC program and life as a college student.

While she is training to become a Naval Officer through physical drills, leadership labs, and ROTC specific courses, she is knee deep in engineering concepts. “I’ve found the courses interesting and applicable to the real world,” she says. “Classes are not always easy, but they are rewarding.”

She has also found that learning the material is much more important than a perfect grade, a lesson she shares with local elementary students. Cameron volunteers weekly as part her dorm’s tutoring program through a local parish, helping elementary school students with their studies.

In addition, she’s heavily involved in Notre Dame’s intramural and CoRec sports programs, participating in flag football, dodgeball, sand volleyball, basketball, ping pong, broomball, soccer, wiffle ball, and club swimming. Cameron’s made her experience at Notre Dame her own and will report for active duty in the United States Navy upon graduation, where she hopes to attend flight school and become a Naval Aviator.