Katarina Kroft | Distinguished Undergraduate Scholar

Other Awards: Phi Beta Kappa inductee

Major: History and Political Science 

Minor: Spanish

Hometown: Prattville, Alabama

Favorite Experience: While my work with the Capstone Journal of Law & Public Policy would be a close second, my favorite experience on campus would have to be my time with the Million Dollar Band. Over the past four years, I have traveled from the coasts of California to the beaches of Miami, sharing my love of music with a family of over four hundred members. No matter how many Saturdays I spent performing in Bryant-Denny Stadium, the exhilaration of marching onto the field to perform “Tusk” before a cheering crowd never faded. When I began my journey with the Million Dollar Band in 2018, I never could have imagined that we would one day march down the streets of New York City in front of Santa’s sleigh, but this ensemble has provided me with memories and opportunities for a lifetime. Rehearsing five days per week may be a significant commitment for a full-time student, but every hour of practice has been worth the friends and experiences that I have gained from this band.

Favorite Class: Based on my dual interests in legal history and public policy, my two favorite classes on campus have been Dr. Cappello’s Great Cases in Legal History course and Dr. Linken’s Constitutional Law classes. Both Dr. Cappello and Dr. Linken have been fantastic mentors during my time at UA, encouraging me to pursue my graduate degree and consider careers in appellate litigation. My experiences in these legal courses also motivated me to complete my honors thesis on the history of the gender wage gap this winter, evaluating which legal strategies for reform hold the most promise for modern feminist coalitions. Without the guidance of these fantastic professors – and many more in the History and Political Science Departments – my career at UA would have been vastly different, and I am immensely grateful for their dedicated mentorship.

Future Plans: After graduating from the Master of Public Administration program next spring, I plan to attend law school and explore career opportunities in appellate litigation and public policy. I am particularly interested in initiatives to close the gender wage gap and reduce employment discrimination, and I hope to use my legal education in pursuit of these goals.