AMHERST, Mass. – Senior Katie Huston of Royal Oak, Mich., who is graduating with a major in journalism, a minor in political science, and is a member of Commonwealth College, has been selected to be the student speaker at the Undergraduate Commencement of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 24 at 12:30 p.m. in Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium.
Huston says she is looking forward to addressing her fellow graduates. “I don’t know if it has really sunk in, or that it will until that day, but it’s a huge honor,” Huston says. “I’m really, really excited. I wanted to recognize what I’ve learned from my classmates, the amazing things they’ve done. I hope everyone will hear a little bit of themselves in what I have to say.”
Huston is one of 40 students in the country to be awarded a Marshall Scholarship, which funds two or three years of graduate study at any British university. She is the first UMass Amherst student to be named a Marshall Scholar in more than 30 years. In addition to attending Commonwealth College, the honors college, Huston is completing the Five College certificate program in International Relations.
Huston has worked at the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, the student newspaper since February 2005. She worked as a reporter, copy editor, night and copy supervisor and finally served as managing editor for the past year. She has also written for Northern Express, a weekly paper in Traverse City, Mich., and Michigan Lobbyist (now domemagazine.com) a political magazine based near Lansing, Mich., and freelanced for the Environmental Institute Web site at UMass Amherst.
From July 2006 to June 2007, Huston was at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she worked for The Media School, an offshoot of the school’s newspaper that teaches underprivileged students about journalism and helped plan and run a four-day media skills and leadership camp. While in South Africa, Huston also was an editorial board member and contributing writer to the Cape Town Globalist magazine.
In the Five College dance department, Huston choreographed the contemporary ballet “shadows of our former selves” and performed in six modern and ballet pieces choreographed by students. Earlier in her career, she performed with the Ballet Grosse Ile in Michigan and taught ballet to children. Huston was a member of the UMass Minuteman Marching Band in 2004.
Following graduation, Huston will spend her summer traveling and interning at the Economic Policy Research Institute in Cape Town, South Africa. This fall she plans to study towards master’s degrees in global political economy and human rights at the University of Sussex in England.
Huston was chosen to be the student speaker by a committee of faculty and students.