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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Iowa chapter.

Whether discussing books, theatre, feminism or any of her many other passions, Sophie Katz has a way with words. I met her only just this semester in a class we had together, but now I wish I’d known her sooner! Towards the end of this semester, I had the opportunity to ask her some questions and get to know her more. 

Hometown: Peoria, IL

Year in school: Senior

Major(s): English & Creative Writing and Psychology with a minor in Theatre Arts

Favorite study spot: My bed! I have a super comfy backrest pillow that makes it kind of like a couch.

Favorite book: Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones.

A few words you would use to describe yourself: Writer, storyteller, idea-generator, helper, planner, rain-or-shine dancer

Why did you choose the University of Iowa?

I was mainly interested in the writing program. I knew I could get a decent general education elsewhere, but only at the UI could I get the best writing program in the nation. The scholarships were a nice bonus, too. And when I came to visit campus, it just felt right. I love the trees, and the river, and the wide-open sky, and how it takes time to walk from place to place. It’s good for thinking. Other colleges I was looking at were in big cities, and they felt too cramped and busy. Here, there’s always something going on, but it doesn’t feel like it.

How did you choose your major(s)?

Writing—or storytelling, really—has been my passion forever, all the way back to when I spent my mornings before the school bus arrived narrating the adventures of my toys. That, plus a love of reading, made an English major the obvious choice.

But my parents told me I “couldn’t just major in writing,” so I chose something else I find interesting: Thinking about how people think. Ultimately, Psychology ties into my writing because it helps me craft realistic people.

The Theatre Arts minor is a recent addition. I’ve always had an interest in theatre and would love to write for it, so I took Playwriting I and Stage Management I. I really enjoyed those classes, so I started poking around the department for stage management opportunities, and before I knew it, I had nearly enough credits for a minor.

Dream job after graduation?

I have my fingers crossed for internships at Disney. My dream is to end up writing for them!

What activities are you involved in both on campus and in Iowa City?

I’m on the executive board of Feminist Union, I volunteer on occasion with the Iowa Youth Writing Project, and I go to weekly services at Hillel. Last year I was the assistant stage manager of a New Play Festival production (Great Emergencies), and this year I stage-managed a gallery production (The Girl Who Came Out The Wrong Way).

Any hobbies that weren’t mentioned in your answer to the previous question?

I play percussion! I’m not currently in any groups or classes for it, but I did marching band in high school. I’ve taught drumset at Girls Rock! Iowa City the past two summers, an awesome day camp, and I still have my stickbag and tambourine in my apartment, just in case.

Anything else you want people to know about you?

However else I’m doing at life at the moment, I have a 100% survival rate. And so do you!

Elizabeth Chesak is a junior at the University of Iowa. She is triple-majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women’s, & Sexuality Studies to prepare for her hybrid dream job of picture book author/National Geographic photojournalist/activist. When not in class, studying, or sleeping, she can usually be found befriending the neighborhood cats.
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