Catherine Stone

Catherine's Journey


Catherine Stone


Biology and French


Rapid City, South Dakota

I visited Grinnell during the gap year I took after high school. Most students were away on spring break at the time, but I still knew it was the right place for me. I especially loved the small classes, the close relationships with faculty, and the powerful student voice.

Four years later, I have realized the benefits of all that and more.

Global Learning Program

My first year, I took a 12-student Global Learning Program course focused on disability and theatre and co-taught by a sociology professor, a theatre professor, and the assistant dean for disability resources.


I love exploring the nature in and around Grinnell. Part of that exploration has been through my biology courses, in which I've carried out labs and designed my own research projects. Some of my favorites have been censusing the plants living under the trees on campus and studying how fungi living inside invasive plants help them spread. Though I'm interested in a medical career, I've been able to fulfill my premed requirements and still have space for ecology courses through which I can immerse myself in Iowa's environments.

Two women in tall grass one wearing blue jacket with gloves
Photo looking down at plants and boot
Photo looking out over overgrow
Photo of hillside

Two nearby natural areas — Conard Environmental Research Area and Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve


Through Grinnell Concerts, I've helped bring bands to campus all four years (and bring bands to Instagram fundraiser concerts when most students were remote last year).

My first year, I helped organize food and housing for artists. Now, I work directly with artists such as CHAI, Surf Curse, and Beach Bunny. I love working with them, and I love working with the other students who make up Grinnell Concerts even more.

Guitar player on stage with pink background

Tasha performing at Gardner Lounge

Community Engagement

Early on, I knew I wanted to help create a cohesive community on and off campus. I've found many ways to do that, both as a community adviser in a residence hall and as a volunteer.


January 2019 – Present

Through LINK Grinnell, I was paired with a local elementary schooler, who I've had lunch with weekly since first year. We meet in her library, where we read and talk before going to the playground to shoot hoops.

May 2019 – Present

I also taught a poetry course in a men's prison through the liberal arts in prison program. I was intending for it to be a poetry reading class, but the students were so excited and creative that it ended up being a poetry writing class. Some students even turned in ten poems a week!

January – February 2020

With the Student Environmental Committee and Greenfund, I attended a consolidated animal feeding operations moratorium to advocate for more sustainable farming practices.

January – March 2021

And, when I was living in Grinnell during the beginning of the pandemic, I volunteered at Mid-Iowa Community Action, which supplies food to local, low-income families. I sorted their food pantry and delivered food to houses.

Guy and Girl standing in main hall of building with For our Health/ Air papers

A consolidated animal feeding operations moratorium at the Capitol in Des Moines


Catherine standing outside holding a metal turner and giving a thumbs up with a successfully flipped crepe in the electric griddle before her.
Making crepes for a study break.

As a French major, I not only learn the language, but I learn about the cultures in France and other Francophone countries. My experiences in my French courses have enabled me to think more deeply and be more intentional about what I read, how I write, and what I say.

It's a small, intimate department. Especially as a French Student Educational Policy Committee representative, I feel like my voice is heard.


Fourth Year and Beyond

Hero Image with Text

During the spring of 2021, I took time off to get my medical assistant license. As a result, I was able to work as a dermatology surgery assistant the following summer!

With that experience and the many I've had at Grinnell, I plan to graduate in the winter of 2022, go to medical school, and become an OB-GYN!

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