Kat Takita – Valedictorian Responses
1. What are you considering writing about for your speech?
I have thrown around a lot of ideas over the past few weeks for the speech, and have not settled on a main topic just yet. It goes without saying that so many of my fellow graduates and I have been affected by Covid-19 and all of the events surrounding it. One cannot accurately describe the class of 2021 without acknowledging the effects of a national pandemic. Yet despite this, I want to make sure that the pandemic is not the focus on a day that is supposed to be about our achievements. Ultimately, I would like to take my opportunity to recognize the amazing accomplishments of my classmates, while also reminding each and every one of us of the responsibilities we hold as college graduates in a world that is experiencing rapid and critical social changes.
2. What are some of your most memorable highlights from your experience at Post?
I gained a lot of great memories during my 4 Years at Post. From the long nights in meetings with the SGA e-board, to Bingo nights in the eagle’s nest, to waiting in the longest lines for Chef Joel’s dish of the day before going off to the library for the day, even the most normal days had something going on. Among other highlights, I got to travel much more than I ever had in the past. I was lucky enough to be a part of the building of the Women’s Ice Hockey Program, with whom I traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, and really developed my public speaking persona with the help of Linda Kobylarz and the Northeast Regional Honors Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
3. What advice would you give to current or future students?
Growing up, my hockey coaches always told me “play like every game is your last because you never know which one will be”. If current students take anything away from the class of 2021, let it be this: Don’t take your time for granted. Take every opportunity that comes your way, and go 100%. I leave Post with a lot of Loose ends because I was unable to come back for one more year. I ended my career with Post’s Ice Hockey team at 99 games played with no closure about where I would have stood as an athlete my senior year. I played my last game without even realizing it and looking back, I wish I would have appreciated that so much more. But all of this has just reminded me of how important it is to seize the day and jump on new opportunities that come my way. Post students, new and old, take the reins! Join that team, start that club, go out with your friends, and attend that conference. Fail hard, succeed harder, and leave no regrets behind.
4. Who has had the biggest impact on your life during your college career? In your life?
There are a lot of people that I owe my thanks to. In particular, I want to acknowledge and thank Linda Kobylarz, who pushed me beyond what I believed was capable and helped me to accomplish amazing things such as the Fulbright-Mitacs fellowship and achieving Honors Program Distinction. I also want to thank Dr. Renata Streck and Professor Lisa Chervenak for their support. The courses I took under each of you set me up for the success I have achieved, and your belief in my abilities has sent me further than I imagined. Next, I want to thank Coach Heath Iscaacson, who brought me to Post in the first place, and for believing in me as a leader and as a person. To my team, I extend my appreciation for the 3 years we were able to grow together, and I look forward to watching you from the other side of the glass next year. Finally, I want to express my love and appreciation for my family, especially my mom and dad. Through low lows and sky highs, thank you for being my biggest supporters. I can only hope that all I have accomplished these past 4 years is enough thanks for everything you have done for me.
5. What’s next!?
Currently, I’m working as a family support navigator for Individuals with Disabilities and their families in Massachusetts. I have been accepted to and will be attending Simmons University in the fall for my Masters of Social Work. My ultimate goal is to work with children and young adults.