Goal-driven. Passionate. Organized. Responsible. Stands up for what they believe in. A good leader strives to possess all of these traits, and according to Governor’s STEM Academy Codirector Myron Blosser, senior Katie Ramsey checks all of these boxes as President of the STEM Academy.
“Katie is really neat because she is a high school kid who isn’t afraid to stand up for her value system,” Blosser said. “Often times, as a teacher, I don’t see that in students. I don’t see students who have strong convictions and are willing to stand up for them. Katie is one of those people, and I just admire her deeply for that. It shows a real strength of character.”
Ramsey ran for President of the STEM Academy after serving as Chair of the Elementary School Outreach Committee her sophomore and junior year. After just finishing the first quarter of the school year, Ramsey is feeling “really great” about how her role as president has been so far.
“It’s something I didn’t really think I was going to do, but now that I’m doing it, [I think] it’s really fun and a cool way to be involved and focused on the STEM Academy in a way that I haven’t before,” Ramsey said.
The role of STEM President comes with many responsibilities, including coordinating STEM events, introducing speakers at such events and brainstorming ways to improve the Academy. One of Ramsey’s biggest tasks is running the weekly meetings with the executive board of the STEM Academy. Blosser sees that Ramsey is excelling at this job and doing so showcases her leadership skills.
“She knows how to establish an agenda and stick to it… she’s good at accountability,” Blosser said. “She runs a tight meeting. If she thinks the conversations are getting distracting, she’ll bring the group back. She’s not afraid to be a leader amongst her peers. Sometimes, we find that it’s hard for peers to be leaders to peers and hold them accountable, but Katie has somehow been able to do that, [and] people love her for it.”
After serving as the Chair of the Elementary School Committee, Ramsey has stepped into her position as president with an enthusiasm for helping younger kids, according to Blosser. Currently she is brainstorming ways to give middle school students a better notion of what being a STEM Academy student means.
“She’s working at how [we can] get into the middle schools and what [we can] do to better avail ourselves to the middle school crowd so kids know what to expect coming here,” Blosser said. “She really has a passion for kids, so she’s thinking of how we can make the experience better for them. I think we’ll change things this year based on that.”
This passion for kids has fueled the idea for Ramsey’s STEM capstone project. All STEM students during their senior year must undertake a capstone course to deepen their knowledge in a more specific STEM-related area of interest. Ramsey decided to do a mentorship with a pediatrician at Sentara RMH Medical Center.
“I chose Mentorship because I didn’t know if I wanted to go into the teaching field or medicine field, and I knew Dr. Newsome, the doctor I’m working under, from the Women in STEM event last year,” Ramsey said. “I thought it would be a good opportunity to see if I would enjoy the medical field [because] I think I have a picture of what teaching would look like and I don’t have a picture of what [a doctor or nurse’s] everyday day looks like.”
Ramsey is currently shadowing doctors at Sentara in the labor and delivery unit to see what their daily routine is like.
“I’m observing what they do to the newborn babies and physical exams and stuff like that… [I haven’t observed a live birth] yet, but they said that I can observe C-sections,” Ramsey said. “If I want to see someone give a live birth, we have to approve it with the mom because I am a student. I definitely would like to [observe one] because if I pass out, then I know I can’t do that.”
Because it is more hands-on, Ramsey has current plans to go into the nursing field. However, she still has her senior year to finish and a STEM Academy to run before she moves forward into the next stage of her life. After teaching her during her freshman year and now guiding her as President, Blosser has watched Katie blossom and grow the past four years.
“She’s amazing,” Blosser said. “I’ve been really privileged to be able to walk with her and see her grow.”