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Student Focus: Kathryn Kemp ’15 Embraces the Big Town Life

by Savannah Haeger '16
Kathryn Kemp
Kathryn Kemp ’15 (right) helped families qualify for computers through the E2D initiative to bridge the digital divide in Davidson.

Though it's true there is "no place like home," for Kathryn Kemp '15, Davidson comes close. Kemp comes to Davidson from the tiny mountain town of Joseph, Ore.; so tiny, in fact, that the town's population is actually fewer than the number of people living on Davidson's campus. Need another way to put Joseph in perspective? According to Kemp, it takes two hours to get to the nearest Walmart and six hours to Portland, the nearest metropolitan area.

"A lot of people don't realize that rural America still exists, and that there are so many beautiful things about it," Kemp said. For her, Davidson represented a significant life change. "It's really funny how people talk about how Davidson is so small," she noted, "but there's so much to do in this little microcosm; there are things happening all the time!"

A Presidential Scholar and psychology major with a neuroscience concentration, Kemp is incredibly well-rounded outside of the classroom. She is a member of The Nuances a capella group, has served as service chair for Turner Eating House and as a Campus Engagement Fellow in the Center for Civic Engagement, and is currently a freshman hall counselor in Cannon. As a hall counselor Kemp enjoys reliving the exciting memories of being a first-year student; "it makes you look back at how much you've learned as you give advice to your residents, and you realize that Davidson really is home now."

As she looks toward her future, Kemp wants to head back to the northwest. Her goal is to become a pediatric neuropsychologist. As someone who loves and has worked with horses for years, Kemp ultimately would like to open a horse therapy center. Kemp has volunteered at Hinds Feet Farm near campus and believes in the power of horse therapy to assist people facing physical and emotional difficulties.

Kemp's warm personality and positivity radiates in everything she does, and she has embraced the Davidson chapter of her life with open arms. Counting people from Manhattan to the suburbs of Los Angeles among her closest friends, she considers Davidson's geographic diversity to be one of its exceptional qualities. "I've developed my own sense of self alongside the people I've met and their experiences; where people come from affects their perspective on Davidson and their take on life," she said. "That's one of the most beautiful things about college."