About each other


courtesy of Jessica Malskis

Kate Abdel-Fatah and Professor Bill Doyle

Note: This article is from the SGA

Seniors Shavonna Bent and Katharine Abdel-Fatah have been two of the hardest working, intelligent, dedicated, and inspiring students Johnson’s campus has seen. When speaking to either of them, you would never know just how much they do considering how humble, sweet, and down-to-earth they are. As a close friend of both Kate and Shavonna, I have seen, first hand, the extra mile they go whether it be in the classroom, SGA, or event planning. I could not let them cross the stage without a final display of how much they have contributed to our campus. For this article, I have sent each of them a list of questions, to answer about the other.

Shavonna’s responses

Describe Kate in three words
Kate is witty (and/or hysterically funny), compassionate, and driven.

List all of the roles she has held throughout her years at Johnson.
Where to start! Kate was an SGA senator for a year, the best Vice President a girl could ask for for two years, she served on the Unification Advisory Committee, Curriculum Committee, General Education Committee… Outside of the SGA, Kate was a member of SERVE and organized the community meal for a year, she ran on the cross country team for four years and played on the women’s lacrosse team for two, was captain of each for a year. She has held two amazing internships this semester (not on campus, but still contributing to the community because she is working with and for kids!).

What was a defining moment in her college career?
A defining moment in Kate’s college career was deciding her major. She changed a few times, trying to find her passion but in her Junior year she combined all of what she loved the most (education, political science (aka making a difference and advocating) and psychology to design her own course of study through the interdisciplinary program. I think that embracing this change and really discovering what drove her was life changing, she now wants to and is going to work for a non-profit to benefit children that are at a socioeconomic disadvantage in the state of Vermont. For instance, this change led her to write her thesis on how kids from lower income and socioeconomic backgrounds are at a higher risk for mental health, and she has also started to build and implement programs to address these issues!

Kate is happiest when……
Kate is happiest when she can see the work she has done is paying off, especially if it benefits others. For as sassy and funny as she can be, she has a heart of absolute gold and it lights up when she can tell that those around her are happy, healthy, and thriving, especially since she works so hard to make that happen.

What do you see your friend doing in 10 years?
I see Kate running an amazing nonprofit that she started from the ground up! This is a goal of hers and I know once she sets her mind to it, Kate will accomplish anything. I see Kate making a difference in the lives of Vermont’s youth daily.

When were you most proud of Kate?
When Kate pulled off this year’s Casino Night flawlessly. It took a full year’s worth of worry and months of work; the event had big expectations to live up to and she did an amazing job with style and grace, which is exactly who Kate is and how she lives every day.

List your favorite thing she has done on campus
When Kate succeeded in finally getting the sign for the Rugby field installed! It took years and lots of hard work, but Kate was the one that finally made it happen because of persistence and dedication to the students at Johnson.

My favorite thing about Kate is……
Kate is always there for you when you need her, and she always knows what you need. If I call in a panic and need a pep talk, she already has one ready. If I am down and need a laugh, she knows how to get my mind off things, but also when I need to cry it out, and when I need to celebrate. Kate is the definition of a great friend–someone everyone wants in their corner.

I wish Kate knew …
How much those around her love and respect her. Seriously, we might joke we are afraid of her, but it’s because of her passion and drive, and no one wants to mess with that because it’s amazing to watch the things Kate can do when she wants to make a change. I want her to know that is a force of nature, an amazing person, woman, feminist, advocate, and human.

Kate’s responses

Describe Shavonna in three words.
Shavonna is kind, intelligent and reliable.

List all of the roles she has held throughout her years at Johnson.
Shavonna has been Secretary of the SGA, Vice President of the SGA, President for 2 years, student trustee, worker in SERVE, committee of academic status, president of VSCSA, Orientation leader, I know there is more but that is all I know right now!

What was a defining moment in her college career?
A defining moment in Shavonna’s college career was when she got accepted to the Woods hole program in Cape Cod. That led her to finding her passion and where she wants to study and what she wants to study or when she got to present her research overseas in Quatar.

Shavonna is happiest when……
She is reading a good book and drinking tea.

What do you see your friend doing in 10 years?
I see Shavonna FINALLY finishing school (hopefully) and becoming a professor and ruling the world with her smartness.

When were you most proud of Shavonna?
My proudest moment of Shavonna was when she realized that she could not let people take advantage of her anymore. People tend to ask Shavonna to do a lot of things because they know she won’t say no but one day she realized that it was not fair to her and she stood up for herself. When she started to stand up for herself I was SO proud.

List your favorite thing she has done on campus.
I want to say it is just her being a role model for other students. By her being on this campus has changed it for the better and those are big shoes to fill after she is gone. Shavonna is by far the most reliable person on this campus and that alone has contributed to the campus environment.

My favorite thing about Shavonna is…
It’s how she is so knowledgeable and passionate. I am in awe in how smart she is and how hard she works to continue to be better. My other factor thing about Shavonna, which can be a fault sometimes is how selfless she is. Shavonna never does anything for her self-gain, she is always thinking about others and puts herself second.

I wish Shavonna knew…
That she is my role model. That she has inspired me to work towards my passions and dreams in my life and without her by my side since 2nd grade it would not be possible. I want her to know that she does not need to compare herself to others because she is simply the greatest. She is an inspiration and has inspired me every day to work harder and has been there by my side for it all.

                                                                          courtesy of Jessica Malskis
                                   Shavonna Bent at the Vermont Statehouse