Catherine White

My name is Catherine Corcoran White and I am from Davis, CA.   When I first arrived on campus this past fall, I felt ready to take on the world.  I initially thought that my capacity for growth was coming to a close and that I would soon be the complete person I was meant to be so I could go on doing my part in “saving the world”.  Little did I know, Duke would prove to be the perfect environment to challenge those long standing beliefs and my mind would be exposed to a new outlook on just about everything.  Furthermore, just one semester at this amazing institution has made me realize that I have more room for personal growth than I could have ever imagined. I am excited to know that I still have so much to learn and am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Baldwin Scholars because I know that it will expose me to experiences that will help me become the best version of myself.   If I were asked the question today, “ Who are you? ”, I would probably start out with saying that I am a student, daughter, and sister.  However, I do not wish to use this space to tell you what roles I hold in life, rather, I will try to tell you about who the real Catherine is. What I know about myself from nineteen years of experience is that I always try to look for the best in people. My actions are based off of intuition and I try to follow my gut instinct.  In every situation, I try and put myself in other’s shoes because I believe that all of my actions have a ripple effect. I believe that it is truly the simplest things in life that matter.  On that note, my “simplest” joys come from playing with my one eyed cat, “Wink”, watching Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres interviews on YouTube, eating Mexican food, reading self help books, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and journaling.  While I do not know what I will major in, I have allowed myself the freedom to look through Duke’s many classes and picked the ones that made me excited to show up, even if they fall early in the morning. I want to do my best to always follow my passions because I know that success will come from following my inner voice.  I have found that I am drawn to Cultural Anthropology, Environmental Sciences, and Sociology. If I had to pick a profession to pursue, it would definitely be broadcast journalism. I love to be out interacting with people and feel that learning about other’s life experiences have provided me with some of my greatest life lessons. I will end on my favorite quote that I try to keep in the back of my mind.  It goes, “ Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind” (Dr. Seuss). These words have gotten me through some difficult times, and I even had the quote in sharpie marker on my back as I ran the San Francisco Marathon.  Overall, I hope that Baldwin Scholars will help me to grow confident in my voice and leadership skills so that I can act in accordance with my passions when I leave Duke.

Portrait of Catherine White