Catching Up With the St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Newest Sports Alumni

By: Maggie Bennett

This year has been different and difficult for everyone including the seniors who just graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM), especially those in athletic programs. Sadly, they were not able to complete their final season with a bang. Their season and graduation celebration got cut short due to the pandemic. I talked with three seniors, now alumni, and asked them how they were doing, as well as what they were up to. Despite this pandemic going on, I was able to find out some interesting things that were going on in their lives. The sporty alumni include Katie Gill and Katie Ortel on the rowing team and James Hemry from the fencing team.

Katie Gill is in the process of applying to several jobs, as well as filling her extra time with embroidering, and learning how to use a 1952 sewing machine. She is being safe and productive during this tough time. Recently, she applied to be an Archaeological Field Technician and it is even out of state. I wished her the best of luck on getting the job. At SMCM, she was one of the women captains on the rowing team. Gill was very helpful in teaching people how to row especially the novices.

Katie Ortel is working at the John Hopkins applied physics lab. She is in the space sector working on vacuum engineering and doing lots of materials testing for spacecraft. Talk about really jumping forward into the career of the sciences! Ortel claims it is really cool to work at Hopkins and plans to work there throughout the year and then start applying to graduate schools. During her free time, Ortel has done a few camping and hiking trips in Western Maryland and West Virginia. Currently, she is planning a kayaking trip in Maine with her dad and with another SMCM alumni. Ortel was the other woman captain on the rowing team and was known for her Irish dancing.

James Hemry has been taking extra classes at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) for the summer and the fall. He is learning Japanese at UMGC. He is also looking for internship opportunities primarily in education. Hemry is researching as well for graduate schools for his history education masters degree. He is trying to make the best of the limits COVID-19  has placed on our livelihoods. Not only was Hemry a part of the fencing team, but he was also in Drum Corp. In fact, he was able to play for the opening of the new stadium.

All of these sporty alumni miss SMCM, and are looking forward to a trip back. They will all be remembered as the class who endured a pandemic. When the seniors from the rowing team left, they were lucky enough to have one more banquet and row on the St. Mary’s River one last time. Overall, this year has been rough for all of us, but hopefully we’ll be able to make the most of it just like these recent alumni.

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