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Class of 2024: Katherine Martinez-Contreras

Computer Science major Katherine Martinez-Contreras discovered she was an extrovert throughout her time on the Hill, which was especially useful in her role as a resident assistant. Her capstone involved creating a to-do list app for Google Pixel phones, and her future career goals involve earning a graduate degree in cyber security.

A student leans against a white column outside.

Katherine Martinez-Contreras is a Computer Science major from Brentwood, Maryland.

When I took my first step on the Hill, I was: Eager to start my journey to better myself and excited for the experience.

The me who will ring the Old Main bell on Commencement Day is: Glad I finished, even though it was difficult, and ready to go into the real world with what I’ve learned here.

Real-world experiences: I was a summer resident assistant (RA) and that is where I connected with alumni. It was one of my favorite experiences, because it was what led me to be an RA during my last years here, and through that, I was able to meet my mentor who has helped me through tough times.

My aha moment: When I realized that I’m not really an introvert but an extrovert. I like meeting new people and making connections and just being social in general.

Footprints I’m leaving on the Hill: How time and time again I prevailed when I was told I wasn’t cut out for certain things or that I wasn’t going to graduate on time. I want to be remembered as persistent and hard-working.

Faculty or staff member who most influenced who I have become: The person who most influenced who I have become is Ambi Shannon in Residence Life, because she has always pushed me to take advantage of opportunities, has put situations into different perspectives to see the positive side of things, and is overall supportive of anything I do.

Best class ever: Graphic Design, because I am a very creative person, and this class gave me the chance to express that. I also really enjoyed my very understanding professor.

Tell us a little about your activities, including sports, during your years at McDaniel: Aside from being part of the Honor and Conduct Board, my activities mainly consisted of program planning for students on campus and supporting organizations/clubs at their events.

Took me totally by surprise: How small the campus is, and how everyone knows everyone, including students and staff.

My favorite spot on campus: The hill looking over the football field in front of Albert Norman Ward Hall. Watching the sunset from there is very relaxing and is such a nice breath of fresh air.

Most mind-boggling idea I learned at McDaniel: That people and some alumni have gotten married in Little Baker.

My capstone title: “ToDoZen.”

What it’s about in plain talk: My capstone is basically about building a to-do list application that can be used on a Google Pixel device.

A pair of twins sits outdoors on the steps in front of McDaniel College's Hoover Library.

What’s next: After graduation I plan to get my master’s in cyber security and hopefully travel in between. The first place I would go to would be El Salvador.

How will you stay connected to McDaniel? I plan to stay connected to McDaniel by coming to alumni seminars.

If you received financial aid, what did that mean for you and your family? Receiving financial aid meant a lot to me and my family because it helped us realize my dream of going to college and aided my parents in helping me and my twin sister, Karina Martinez-Contreras, who also chose McDaniel, graduate with no student loans.

Are you the first in your immediate family to attend college? What has the experience meant to you? I am a first-generation college student, and this experience has meant the world to me. To be able to achieve something so big and important and help make my parents proud along with having the opportunity to better my education and study something I was interested in has been amazing.

About Katherine

Name: Katherine Martinez-Contreras

Major: Computer Science

Class of 2024

"Time and time again I prevailed when I was told I wasn’t cut out for certain things or that I wasn’t going to graduate on time. I want to be remembered as persistent and hard-working."