Newsletter Article

Graduation Speaker Profile: Katherine Magnuson

"I found that even though the University of Washington seemed overwhelming at first, there were so many people willing to help me. I found that I wasn't such a small fish afterall."

     - Katherine Magnuson, Psychology BA 2019

Katherine Magnuson
Katherine Magnuson

"Becoming a psychology major came for me a little later than for some," says Katy Magnuson, "but it is part of a pathway that I had dreamed of fulfilling my whole life." Following over a decade of enjoying a very successful career in the film industry, Katy arrived at UW as a transfer student from Bellevue College. Thinking about the transition from an established career to being a community college student to entering UW, Katy recalls felling like she was suddenly a very small fish in a huge pond. "I had to learn that there was strength in asking for help and in fighting for waht you deserve and want to accomplish," says Katy.

Katy found this help in the form of her Psychology professors, graduate teaching assistants, and academic advisors. She notes that being accepted as a major in the Psychology Department was life changing for her and that the people around her have helped her to achieve things she didn't know she was capable of doing. Katy now wants to take these experiences and lessons and turn them outward, with the aim of helping others. "I want to use my strong work ethic, etermination, and courage," explains Katy, "as well as my empathy and faith in the good of people to help those who society has lost hope on."

While a student in the Psychology Department, Katy took on both leadership and volunteer experiences. She credits her volunteer work with the King County Juvenile Detention Center with being eye opening in the best of ways, confirming that a graduate degree in forensic psychology and a career in enforcement is indeed exactly what she wants to pursue. She also enjoyed serving as a peer leader for the Psychology Transfer Academic Community (TRAC) class, helping first-quarer transfer students to connect with the Psychology Department and to find a strong community of support here at UW.

With her Bachelor's degree in hand, Katy is now studying and training for the next leg of her journey. This fall, she will take the written and physical exams required to qualify for selection to become a police officer. She wants to take the lessons that she has learned and the skills that she has gained to work with those who are desperately in need of help. "I hope to one day be part of the solution," says Katy, "I want to help those within my community, especially those who have lost hope."