Making a multipotentialite lifestyle look easy


Photo Courtesy of Katherine Lee

Lee’s usual outfit of the day is a bathing suit under a white lab coat.  

Tiffany Persaud, Features & Lifestyle Editor

A multipotentialite is a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life. Katherine Lee, a senior at Iona College, embodies every aspect of the term. Lee’s upbeat personality is infectious. Her bright smile radiates in the biology labs and at swimming tournaments where she collects medals like Michael Phelps.  

Originally from Farmingdale, Long Island, when Lee returns home she works as a volunteer at her local fire department as an EMT. Last year, she interned as a medical assistant, so she is also well-trained with EKG’s and phlebotomy work.  

She was always interested in science, specifically biology. Lab work was attractive to her to continue to pursue in college as she was, and still is, very good at it. Now a biology major on the pre-physician assistant track, she is the public relations chair of the Biology Club and a tutor at the Rudin Center. 

Lee worked closely with Dr. Zuckerman, assistant professor of biology at Iona, to complete her honors thesis. Supported by a science grant, she was paid for the research. Her research focused on the cell biology of the soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus, a model social bacterium. Lee will be presenting her intricate research at Iona Scholars Day on April 7.  

When she’s not zooming in on what’s under the microscope, Lee swims six times a week alongside her teammates. She came to Iona with an athletic scholarship but wasn’t the strongest on the team. Yet, with the right support, hard work and guidance from her coaches, she managed to improve over the course of four years. 

 Lee was in one first place relay her sophomore year and averaged five medals annually. This year she was on a relay that qualified for the national invitational championship, which is one level below NCAA. Lee and her teammates left this week for that meet.  

After her long days, Lee’s energy still never wavers. Her mindset and tenacity are incredibly strong to be able to accomplish as much as she has. This semester being her last, it’s the only semester Lee has experienced a lighter workload.  

“I don’t like to be bored,” Lee said. “I overload my schedule all the time on purpose. I like being busy all day. I somehow do it all.” 

This is quite the contrast to college-aged students who dedicate time to themselves, but interacting with others is Lee’s form of self-care. She’s taken summer classes that totaled over twenty credits in some semesters, and even an EMT course at WCC.  

Her planners and calendars are organized to a T. It’s the only way she’s able to keep track of her many responsibilities. She encourages everyone to keep a schedule and stick with it to promote productivity.  

“You have to find what works for you,” Lee said. “Freshman year I was guilty of being the night before kind of girl, but now I list my assignments out and budget time to work on each one.”  

Lee wants to see more students involved on campus and in academic or interest clubs. Creating connections with those near and far has emboldened Lee in her ventures as a student- athlete.  

“In your classes, reach out to classmates to start study groups and find that support system,” Lee said. “I couldn’t have gotten through this without my bio and honors classmates. Set aside time to go to the library and get involved. There are opportunities that are out there that you won’t know about until you get there.” 

Everyone has the same twenty-four hours a day, and Lee spends only eight of them sleeping. For the past four years, there has been barely time for her to rest during the semester, so she is looking forward to graduation. Although Lee makes it look easy, she’s a bit tired, just like the rest of the Class of 2022.