Featured Torero Archives
Brittany Catton '05 BA
1: What have you been up to since graduation?
I have been very lucky to get my dream job with the San Diego Armed Services YMCA since I graduated five years ago. It is an excellent, fiscally responsible non-profit that assists nearly 7,000 military families each month with free programs to help the families stress less and connect more. I am also running for California State Assembly District 76 (www.cattonforassembly.com). I am running a grass roots campaign to see if a young professional, free of Special Interests, accountable to no one but the people, can run for office and win and make real change by being allowed to make the hard calls facing our near-bankrupt state.
2: What is your fondest memory of USD?
My fondest memory of USD was being a freshman in San Luis three different times and having three different classes of USD friends. I was hospitalized often for Crohn’s disease and so I often had to withdraw or start over. I did O Team three times, by my third year I felt like Van Wilder. I remember every Teacher and Dean that worked with me, every student that came to visit me or catch me up for class. I never could have gotten my degree in 5 years being hospitalized 23 times if it weren’t for the faculty and students at USD helping me, and I am forever grateful for that.
3. What is your favorite place on campus, why?
The IPJ. I am thrilled when I get to go back for a conference because it is so serene, beautiful, and USD lemon bars are second to none. I go back a lot for the free lecture series. I remember monks walking the halls when I was undergrad. It is a very special asset to San Diego and I think they do an amazing job bringing in inspirational international figures that can motivate us all. Also, the fantastic new dining facility; I am only slightly bitter that it was not around when I was a student.
4. Who was your favorite USD professor or class?
Capt. Walt Heinecke, who still teaches Leadership studies. He is still one of my closest friends and mentors, who goes above and beyond to show you he cares about your development. Also, Dr. Stoddard in Political Science was dynamic and explained the world in a way that was fascinating and forward thinking. I had him the morning of September 11th, and he came in and told us what happened as we were preparing for a Map Quiz. He told us the world was never going to be the same and sent us all home.
5: How have you remained involved with USD since graduation?
I am a nerd that comes back entirely too often. I partner annually with the Law School and ROTC to host COED for a Day, where military come spend a day at USD to get excited about higher education. I also partner with the Athletic Department on their Camo for Kids Event, for military families to enjoy college athletics and family bonding. I also love coming back for Finals Feeding Frenzy, Take a Torero to Lunch, USD Rotaract and games. The people in the USD Community are incredibly smart, kind and pro-active, and it is a treat to be around.
6: If you could offer a current USD student advice, what would it be?
Allow yourself a six month buffer to find the RIGHT job for you after college. Try to save to prepare for that time so you do not feel pressured into take the first job offered. Write lots of thank you notes, and take the time to visit your old USD friends that you want to stay in touch with. As I get older, that in-person effort is what keeps my old USD friendships strong.
Miranda Stratton '13
Miranda graduated from USD in 2013 with a degree in Biology. Since her days on campus, she is now pursuing her PhD on cellular and molecular biology at Stanford University.