Katenta will gradute from UMES this spring with Magna Cum Laude honors

April 26, 2012

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - Whether one likes to admit it or not, a student-athlete is not a normal student. The work load is different, as are the mindsets and balancing techniques. There is much more at stake; a representation that not only showcases themselves, but also their teams, communities and institutions.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has had the luxury of servicing student-athletes from all over the world in effort to help them achieve their goals. There have been thousands of student-athletes that have competed as a Hawk since the program began intercollegiate play 125 years ago. Each student-athlete has been put in the position to bring integrity to the institution through their academics, athletics and community involvement.

Being a student-athlete requires the individual to adhere to NCAA rules and regulations, while also making a certain GPA to compete. Their academic success is a reflection of themselves, their teams and the institution.

All in all, no one may be a better representation of UMES than senior women's tennis player Anna Katenta (Germantown, Md.).

"I have learned that the key to success is practice, patience, positive thinking and energy," said Katenta. "Being realistic with yourself as well continuously motivating yourself to reach your goals and more practice"

Katenta has combined many of the key essentials of what it takes to be successful in college.

Her accolades include being a UMES MARC U*STAR trainee, a Beta Kappa Chi inductee, and a Henson Honors scholar. She has also been distinguished as a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference All-Academic Team member in each of the past two seasons and is a part of the Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society. She majors in biology with a minor in mathematics, all the while maintaining a 3.63 GPA. She is set to graduate this spring with Magna Cum Laude honors.

Previous to UMES, Katenta was a member of the honor roll for four consecutive years at Clarksburg High School. She was the editor-in-chief for the school's newspaper and co-authored a pending research publication in 2009.

Upon graduation from UMES in the spring, Katenta is set to continue her academic career as she has been accepted into the University of Arizona in the Arizona Biological and Biomedical Science PhD program. Her trek to Arizona will begin in June and her program is set to take off in July.

The journey that Katenta is on is much like that of her older sister, Lydia. Katenta refers to her older sister as her "hero" and the elder is currently pursuing a PhD from Howard University.

What are her future aspirations?

"I want to complete my PhD in Immunobiology," said Katenta. "I then want to work for either the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization. I feel that I have set myself a path that will lead me to reach this goal."

Aside from her success in the classroom and community, Katenta is a member of UMES' women's tennis team. She has been a staple for the women's tennis team over the past few years. Her career has featured time at No. 4 and No. 5 singles, along with work at second and third doubles.

She won 24 games in 2012, including a 5-4 victory at Wesley in singles on March 28. She then concluded the sweep over Wesley with an 8-5 win at third doubles. The Germantown, Md., native just missed her third match victory in singles in her final collegiate match, when she fell 6-1, 7-5 at No. 5 singles at Bowie State on April 11.

Although her academic success, her journey in tennis has not always been an easy one.

"I have had some people tell me that I would never be a good tennis player," said Katenta. "Comments like that pushed me to practice harder, focus on my game and put others' opinions of me aside. I have had to win for myself. Although very cruel, these comments pushed me to be a better tennis player than I was my freshman year. I love tennis so much."

Katenta has been able to intertwine hard work, integrity and persistence to overcome the hurdles she has faced in life.

Also, it is her ability to accept difference that distinguishes her from the rest of the pack.

"I have goals and values tailored to my lifestyle that are different from others," offered Katenta. "I also have a personality that is not polarizing, but still defines my character."

There is no doubt that the values of hard work that Katenta has attained over the past four years will translate into success for her in the real world. Although her route after UMES does not appear to be in professional tennis, Katenta has still used her time at the insitituion to suit her professional endeavors.

The tennis program will miss her presence, as will the academic and athletic departments that she has represented so well. Her legacy will surely be left across all venues of the UMES community.

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