Alumni Spotlight: Kat Kobylt
Katharine “Kat” Kobylt is a Penn State graduate from the class of 2016. She majored in Meteorology and currently works with catastrophe modeling throughout the United States. She was involved in a few clubs and organizations during her time at Penn State, and utilized many resources available to Penn State students during her academic career.
Kat came to Penn State knowing she wanted to major in meteorology, and chose Penn State because of its great program. She views meteorology as the intersection between people and the planet, and believes it is important in helping us understand the planet we live on and how to protect it; she mentions meteorology helps “keep people safe from extreme weather, and keep the earth safe from extreme humans.”
Kat took advantage of some of the many organizations and resources available to Penn State students. While a student, Kat was involved with the storm chasing club through the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, traveling around the country with her peers to see storms. She was also a member of Apollo, a THON Special Interest Organization. Through her academic college, she was able to take a professional development course offered by the meteorology program director, which helped introduce her to people and careers she could pursue in her field. Additionally, Kat utilized the Peace Corps connections through Penn State. After she finished her undergraduate degree, she could feel she wasn’t entirely ready for the job force, and still wanted to do something different before starting a career. She met with the Penn State Peace Corps campus recruiter and was able to live in Tanzania for two years, teaching students math and chemistry, gender empowerment, and self-cleanliness awareness. Being in the Peace Corps has impacted her life in many ways, even after leaving Africa, as Kat now sits on a board for the Chicago area Peace Corps association.
Kat credits Penn State for giving her a strong work ethic, which has helped in both her work with Peace Corps and her career. She is grateful to THON and Apollo for giving her the chance to see there’s more to life outside of school, and what it feels like to work for a cause greater than yourself. She thanks Penn State for all the opportunities it gave her and the communities formed. Her favorite line of the alma mater is “For the future that we wait,” reflecting how when she was in school, she had no idea what her life would be, and that your future is waiting for you. If she could give advice to current Penn State students, it would be to not sweat the small stuff. She says that so much of your college experience is made up by little moments, and when you look back, you’ll remember the good times and good people. “Don’t over plan – things are happening the way they’re supposed to.”