Meet Kat Woodard – 2022-2023 HDS Admissions Graduate Assistant

by Kat Woodard, MDiv ’25

Editor’s Note: Kat is one of the 2022-2023 Graduate Assistants at HDS Admissions. She is a first-year MDiv student at HDS studying spiritual care, religious education, and accessibility.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you want the HDS community & prospective students to know about you?

I have been progressively making my way north throughout my young adult years – I started off in my hometown of Nashville, TN, then I headed to Washington, D.C. for college, and now I am making a home for myself here, in Cambridge, MA. I carry part of each of the places I lived in with me in my studies:  Nashville taught me how to engage with spirituality on a personal and communal level, D.C. taught me how to study religion within an academic context, and Cambridge is teaching me how to apply the knowledge I’ve gained in the classroom to the faith communities I hope to work with. Specifically, while I am at HDS, I’m looking at how to make faith communities more accessible. I believe that my passion for accessibility goes hand in hand with my interest in higher education, something that has historically been inaccessible for so many. Right now, I am still discerning if higher ed chaplaincy is the right fit for me, but I have found that HDS has been a wonderful place for exploration so far.  

How did you know HDS was the right school for you? What led you to apply here? 

When I first started thinking about a career path related to higher education, I kept hearing the adage “you never know who is going to walk into your office, or what their background might be.” So, I knew that if I wanted to be a university chaplain, understanding the widely varying religious experiences of my students would be an integral part of my work. Therefore, when looking for a graduate school, I was determined to find a program that would allow me to study across faith traditions. With HDS, I found that studying multiple traditions was not only allowed, but in many cases encouraged or required. The pluralistic aspect of HDS sealed the deal for me, as I felt it was something I could not find at any of the other programs I was considering.  

What advice would you like to share with prospective students?

I moonlight as a college counselor for high-school students when I am not working for HDS Admissions, and I would tell prospective HDS students the same thing I tell my mentees: When selecting your recommenders, try to select individuals who can each speak to a different part of who you are. For example, I selected one person who could speak to my creativity, one who could speak to my professional work ethic, and one who could speak to my academic promise. Try to show the Admissions Committee as many parts of who you are as you can! 

What are you most looking forward to this year at HDS?

I am really looking forward to getting to know my fellow classmates! When I was still discerning if HDS was the right school for me, current students and administrators kept emphasizing just how friendly the HDS community was. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but after being here for about a month, I can confirm they were right! There is something so distinct about the genuine kindness I have received here – People I have met only in passing consistently remember my name and check in on me when they can. Throughout this year, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to reciprocate this type of caring welcome, and that I’ll be able to get to know some of my classmates on a deeper, more personal level. 

Please share with us one thing that is bringing you joy right now, as you start your fall semester. 

Putting together creative outfits and makeup looks is an everyday ritual for me, but nothing compares to the joy I get from preparing for Halloween! For the past two years, my partner and I have loved walking around our neighborhood in DC on Halloween night, seeing all of the fun yard decorations and the costumes trick-or-treaters have put together. I’m so excited to bring our Halloween tradition to Cambridge this year and to experience all the other mini traditions that fall in New England has to offer! My housemates and I saw the first leaves changing from green to red outside our window this weekend, and it felt like such a special, small way to welcome in this new season of life.  

Comments are closed.

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: