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Katie Church Receives SMCM's First Outstanding Young Alumni Award For Public Service

  • St Mary's County
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Katie Church, St. Mary's College of Maryland Class of 1999, received the first Young Alumni Association Award for her commitment to medical study and public service. Church now works at a school in Mongolia.
Photo by Dirk Griffith
St. Mary’s College of Maryland recently bestowed the first new Young Alumni Association Award to Katie Church ’99. The award is for outstanding public service by a young alumnus or alumna. 

During the presentation ceremony, Church was praised for her commitment to medical study and public service. At St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) she earned a degree in biology. Church then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and a joint master’s degree in public health and nursing from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Currently, Church is in Mongolia, working at a school as a teacher and public health instructor, focusing on substance abuse issues. Recently she was a psychiatric nurse clinician at Johns Hopkins Hospital, working with adults in an inpatient detoxification program.

“It was through Katie’s undergraduate experience at SMCM that she forged the ties between biology, social responsibility and an acute awareness for humanitarian problems throughout the world,” said Church’s friend Emma Petrie Barcelona ’99. While at SMCM, Church was a peer mentor at the Office of Study Abroad and Internships, helping international students adjust to a foreign country’s demanding college experience. She also interned at St. Mary’s County Health Department, working with infants and toddlers as well as the community outreach program.

After graduating from SMCM, Church joined the Peace Corps and traveled to Mongolia, where she taught English and health classes in a Mongolian secondary school. She also assisted Mongolian schoolteachers with community development projects.

After the Peace Corps, Church worked for the Youth Crime Watch of America in Washington D.C., promoting the YCW program in schools and law enforcement departments across the country. She also worked briefly for Amnesty International in Washington, D.C. as a regional office organizer.

The Outstanding Young Alumni award was presented to Church’s parents and grandparent in lieu of her presence. At the time of the ceremony, Church was working as a nurse at a Girl Scout camp in Colorado.

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