Katrina M. Konopka will graduate from the Honors College with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Katrina has pursued a wide range of activities throughout her undergraduate career.
Katrina was recruited by the University of Arizona to compete in NCAA Division 1 Swimming. As a member of the swim team, she is a three time All-American honors, six time All-American honorable mention, and three time Scholar All-American. Katrina currently holds the school record in the 200 Medley Relay. Katrina has not only performed at the University level, but has competed on the international stage. Katrina represented Team USA at FINA Short Course World Championships in 2016, where she earned two gold medals and set a World Record in the 200 Medley Relay. Katrina also competed for the US at the 2017 World University Games, where she earned a gold and bronze medal.
Aside from her athletic accomplishments, Katrina joined Dr. Jeffrey Pyun’s polymer research group her sophomore year. Her research has focused on the synthesis of ultra high refractive index polymers and their implementation into optical devices. She has been an author on three publications. As a researcher, Katrina has also served as a mentor for the Optical Sciences IOUNA and O-RETINAs programs, in which Native American students and teachers are exposed to research experience. Katrina is the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Outstanding Senior of the Year.
Katrina has had a wide impact on the community, most notably starting CATs Journey Journals in the athletic department. Journey Journals are decorated notebooks with letters of encouragement from student athletes, that are donated to hospitalized children, domestic abuse survivors, and military families. Katrina has also been an instructor at various summer swim clinics, as well as judged multiple science fairs.
With her interest in chemistry, Katrina plans to pursue graduate school in chemistry with a focus on polymers and materials.