Katie Tyner ’15 first experienced Miss Porter’s School through summer programs, when she was a participant in the Junior Model United Nations (JMUN) during the summer of 2011. There, Katie found herself surrounded by like-minded girls and supportive faculty members and immediately knew Porter’s was the place for her. She recalls a hurried phone call home in which she shared this desire with her mother — then immediately hung up the phone to get back to the activities.
“After seeing the level of care, attention, and enthusiasm provided by the faculty members, and the intellectually driven, collaborative, down-to-earth nature of the students, I knew this was the place I wanted to be,” Katie shares. “I wanted to be surrounded by a student body like that.”
Katie’s parents were supportive of her decision to attend Porter’s, and she entered as a day student that fall. She remained active in JMUN for eight years, going on to work in the program.
As a Porter’s student, Katie immediately became involved with the school’s Model United Nations (MUN) club, and reports that a highlight of her time at Porter’s was the trip she took with MUN during her freshman year. The group traveled to Panama, a trip Katie describes as “so memorable and impactful.” Katie was the only freshman on the trip, and greatly appreciated the chance to learn from the upperclassmen.
Today, Katie is in her senior year at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where she studies in the College of Social Studies (CSS), with a minor in data analysis. The CSS program is interdisciplinary in nature, encompassing government, history, economics, and social theory. As a senior, Katie serves as a preceptor, leading hour-long weekly lectures, holding office hours, and providing feedback and comments on the essays underclassmen must submit weekly. She enjoys the responsibility that comes with this leadership position, and notes that this is good exposure as she is interested in pursuing a career in academia.
Katie is active within the Wesleyan community: she serves as a senior interviewer in Wesleyan’s Admission Office; a peer health advocate; a research assistant for the Wesleyan Media Project; and executive editor of Wesleyan’s bipartisan political magazine, “Arcadia.” She notes that the magazine is a venue for students to produce op-eds, serving as a platform for students to freely express their thoughts, however Katie makes it a point to add, “We don’t tolerate hate speech.”
Katie enjoys reflecting on her time at Porter’s, and shares that the best part of a Porter’s education is that “it doesn’t stop when you graduate because of your mentors,” adding that she includes Head of School Kate Windsor and Chief Enrollment and Student Affairs Officer Liz Schmitt among her own most important mentors. Her advice to current students is to make the most of the mentorship of faculty who are offering their time, support, and resources. And if she were to give advice to her New Girl self, it would be to realize the value of collaboration, as “it is imperative to success.”
When asked what her favorite Porter’s memory was, Katie had trouble describing just one moment, because to her, there were so many. She finally settled on one that she feels truly reflects what she loves most about the school:
“My favorite Porter’s memory is the moment I finished my AP European History exam senior year, sprinted from the library reading room to the ultimate Frisbee field, and ran through the sprinklers with my team,” she recalls. “This memory encapsulates my favorite aspects of Porter’s: engaging academics, supportive friends and faculty, and a place that feels like home.”
To learn more about Katie Tyner ’15, check out her Wesleyan senior interviewer profile.