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Caterina Reed: Lover of Literature, Languages and Learning Thrives at Stony Brook

Caterina ReedWhen Caterina Reed came to Stony Brook, she already loved so many subjects she didn’t know which one to focus on. So she did the only thing an avid learner with hundreds of choices could do: she added more.

“I came in as a pre-med student,” says Caterina, a senior. “I also liked anthropology and geology, and I’d loved classics and mythology since I was six years old, along with science. I grew up going to Montessori schools, which really helped my interests grow. So I couldn’t just pick one.”

In her first semester, Caterina took biology, and she also took Latin and classics with Professor Bill Godfrey. “Two classes with him, and I realized how much I loved languages and literature,” she says. “I said to myself, this man worked on Wall Street for a very long time before he switched his career path and went into teaching classics. I didn’t want to go into something and then realize I should have done something else.”

Although she had originally planned to be a cardiologist, after her first science class Caterina knew that she didn’t want to be a doctor. She wanted to do research. Then she realized that she didn’t really like science research. So she decided to major in Comparative Literature and minor in three subjects: Classical Studies, Medieval Studies and English.

“Comparative Literature is a good choice for me, because it includes the history, language and culture connected to literature,” explains Caterina, who is from Miller Place. “I decided to go with something broad for my major, but I picked minors that were very specific. I might want to get my PhD in either classical or medieval literature.”

As part of her requirements for her major, Caterina has to complete at least one literature class in the original language of the texts studied.

“I did that with Latin,” says Caterina. “But I want to learn more languages.” This summer she is studying abroad in Germany, taking classes both in literature and intermediate German. She prepped for German by taking an introductory-level class before she left.

As a freshman, Caterina also tried out a lot of different clubs and activities. She was in a play on campus, and she joined the neuroscience club. She was also part of the Campus Involvement Project and Undergraduate Student Government. Not everything sparked her interest. Being a Commuter Assistant was one activity that did.

“I applied to the program in my freshman year, ” she says. “This will be my third year. It’s really great mentoring incoming freshmen and transfers. This was my first leadership opportunity on campus, and I’ve just loved it ever since.”

She also interns at Stony Brook’s Career Center, and she hasn’t let go of the possibility that she might even pursue a masters’ in higher education.

“Being at Stony Brook has been a great choice for me,” she says.

—Toby Speed




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