Making the Grade - Katy Cross

Written by Cheryl Wagstaff

Oct. 1, 2003

Junior psychology major Katy Cross has been making her mark in the classroom as well as on the soccer field for the Quakers. As the Red and Blue's first Ivy League Soccer Player of the Year last season, she was also named to the 2002 Verizon Academic All-America District II soccer team.

As a graduate of Claremont High School in Calif., Cross knew she wanted to go to school in the east. She had experience being far away from home when she spent a semester living in India with her family. While there, Cross attended the American Embassy School in New Delhi.

After making her decision to leave the sunny West Coast, Cross visited numerous East Coast schools, including Penn. She chose Penn because it is in a big city, but still has its own campus and is rather large in size.

Her father, a native of England, graduated from Cambridge University where he studied physics, and her mother attended Swarthmore College. She has one older brother who graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003, and is still residing in Boston.

In Cross' first two years at Penn she has made the Dean's list twice. She is enrolled in the College of Arts and Science where she is studying psychology. Upon entering the College she had no idea what she was going to major in.

"I took a really diverse set of classes the first couple of semesters and I decided to major in psychology after thoroughly enjoying the introductory course," Cross said.

As well as completing her major requirements, Cross decided to minor in Japanese. "I decided I wanted to learn a new language rather than continuing with Spanish from high school, so I am pursuing a minor in Japanese," Cross said.

Cross credits her academic achievements to her time management skills. "Since soccer takes up a large chunk of time each week, especially during the fall, the most important thing for me in being successful academically is spending enough time on studying without getting overwhelmed or burnt out."

Instead of letting her studies take over all of her time, she likes to leave some time for things that she enjoys. Finding that time once the soccer season is over is even more difficult because her mind is focused more on her studies.

Cross has stayed busy during the summer. The summer after her freshman year she went home to Claremont and worked at an art gallery for the developmentally disabled.

This past summer she stayed in Philadelphia and worked in two labs. She worked in Penn's psychiatry department working on behavioral genetics and served as an assistant at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience.

Cross may not know what will call to her when she finishes her time at Penn, but for now she is pretty content on doing all she can to achieve success both on the field and in the classroom.