The Honors College at the University of Houston sought out Catrina Kim (’13) after she sent her application and audition tape to the Moores School of Music. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago where she lived with her parents and three sisters, Kim says, “My mom raised all four of us to be goal-oriented, disciplined and hard-working, but most of all, to find a career path that suited our individual abilities and passions.” Kim didn’t know what to expect when she was invited to join the Human Situation Class in The Honors College, but she was attracted to the rigor of the program and the small class size. “By the time I attended my first Human Situation lecture, I knew it was the right decision. I was completely drawn into the works of Homer, Thucydides, Apuleius, and Aristophanes,” she recalls. However, the single most important factor in her decision to attend the University of Houston was that of the scholarships she was offered. She won a National Merit Scholarship, and was additionally awarded the Jane Cizik Scholarship and the University Community Scholarship. It was due to generous alumni that Kim was able to pursue her studies 100 percent, instead of having to work while simultaneously attending school.
During her years at the University of Houston, her Honors College scholarships allowed her to successfully perform three piano recitals, complete a Phronesis minor, an interdisciplinary program in politics and ethics, write a Senior Honors Thesis on the philosopher Xenophon, and secure a UH Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. She exceeded her undergraduate scholarly pursuits by taking a graduate-level course and presenting a paper at a professional conference for music theory scholarship. She remembers that while the texts read were often daunting, the professors made them accessible and exciting. “The Human Situation courses were by far the most important, exciting, and personally challenging classes I took in my entire undergraduate career. It’s because of the Human Situation that I added on the Honors minor, Phronesis, and wrote a Senior Honors Thesis in political philosophy.”
Kim graduated in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and is attending a combined MA/PhD program in Music Theory at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. Upon completion of her PhD degree, Kim plans to work at a college or university as a professor of music theory. “I plan to give back to the Honors College so that it can award scholarship assistance to deserving students. Honors College scholarships have been so critical to my academic success, I feel it is my obligation to help the next generation of talented college students.”