Katrina Soper is an artist, an educator and a leader.
She recently wrapped up a busy year serving as Regional Vice President for the Michigan Region of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society and was runner-up in her campaign for the organization’s Division III International Vice President.
Soper grew up on a dairy farm in northern Wisconsin and, as a result, hard work was instilled in her at a young age. This value has driven her success personally and professionally. She graduated Cum Laude from Andrews University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, with an emphasis in painting.
As her life changed, Soper returned to college to pursue a health-related career. She has completed nursing and allied health coursework at Montcalm Community College in preparation for the Radiography program at Mid Michigan Community College. Soper recently returned to MCC to earn an Associate of Science Degree and plans to continue her studies to become a physician’s assistant.
“I chose MCC for the same reason many choose community college — it was close and it was affordable,” Soper says. “I had already attended a four-year university, and I did not want to accumulate more student debt. Little did I know what I was getting myself into when I enrolled at MCC — that choice ended up being one of the best choices I have ever made.
“The instructors and staff at MCC taught me the most valuable lessons I have ever learned — that I could do anything if I put my mind to it and that I was the only one who could hold me back,” Soper says.
“They taught me how to believe in myself. Once I did that, doors I never even knew existed were opened for me,” she adds. “They were behind me supporting me with each new challenge I took on. Without MCC, I never would have learned the value of believing in myself or have had the support to surpass even my greatest expectations.
“The classes taught at MCC are equal to or surpass the quality of the ones I took at a four-year university,” she says.
In addition to classroom instruction, Soper’s involvement in MCC’s Alpha Tau Alpha chapter of the PTK Honor Society has helped her learn communication and decision-making skills that will last a lifetime. She is putting them to work as a science tutor and a painter.
As a regional officer, Soper presided over all Michigan PTK chapters. In her bid for international office, she participated in interviews and presented a speech to an audience of 3,000 people.
“Phi Theta Kappa made me realize that outside my comfort zone is actually a pretty comfortable place,” Soper says.
She adds that she has learned valuable life lessons during her college experience.
“Just because you are an honor student doesn’t mean you have to succeed all the time. Some of our greatest lessons learned are found in failing,” she says.
“The relationships I have built with the faculty and staff at MCC are unlike any other that I have had in my past academic experiences. They became more than just my instructors or advisors, they became my friends, making every experience at MCC one of my favorite experiences,” she adds.