The next interview on character is a bit of a departure—my subject is not someone
in business, but a student. Kate Carroll is a second year student at the University
of Hawaii at Hilo, studying for a BS in marine science with a minor in chemistry.
While on a family vacation in St. Croix when she was 12, she was introduced to diving
and never looked back, having been fascinated with the ocean for as long as she could
remember. With unfailing singlemindedness, Kate is creating a life committed to the
sea: she’s a certified divemaster who makes money training others; she’s a part of
the Hilo Marine Mammal Response Network (HMMRN), which responds to monk seal haulouts
around the big island of Hawaii when the seals beach themselves to rest, raising
awareness for their protection; she’s far exceeded the normal amount of credits she
should have under her belt at this point, and has already been the co-
In addition to this, she loses herself in photography, particularly macro shots under water. Here’s how she describes herself: “You could put me on a shallow reef for hours and I would still be finding new stuff and taking pictures until my memory card was full.
In the future I want to get a Master’s from Scripps Oceanographic Institute in California, and then maybe a PhD—maybe not—maybe teach at a university—maybe not. I would like to be a researcher in the field and discover something or do something important that leaves its mark.” Her dedication to pursuing what excites her impressed me deeply, and I wanted to know what motivated her. In contrast to the images we are presented of young men and women who seem to have no other interests than fashion and celebrity, it’s a thrill to hear of such passion. I will speak with Kate about the character strengths that drive her. Let her pursuit of her purpose in life inspire and educate you!