A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Patriot Profile: Katie Lai

By Colleen Kearney Rich on November 27, 2017

Katie Lai

Major: Communication

Hometown: Pleasanton, California

When communication major Katie Lai enrolled in a speech class at Las Positas College, she had no idea the course would completely change her trajectory. She found she was good at public speaking and was soon competing on the college’s forensics team.

California native Katie Lai transferred to Mason to join its award-winning forensics team. Photo by Ron Aira

Why Mason? After earning her associate of arts degree in speech (she was class valedictorian), she started looking for a four-year university to continue her studies. She researched ones with the best forensics teams and discovered Mason. This year she placed in the quarterfinals nationally in informative speaking, communication analysis, and after-dinner speaking.

Leading by Example: While at Mason, she worked with high school students at the George Mason Institute of Forensics, which is held in Fairfax each summer. This past summer she travelled to Mason Korea with Forensics Team director Peter Pober and other coaches to help with the 2017 International English Speech Competition.

Who’s Your Doctor? Lai is a huge fan of BBC television series Dr. Who and actor David Tennant, who is best known for playing the Tenth Doctor. She says one of the perks of being on the East Coast was the ability to head up to New York City and catch Tennant on Broadway when he appeared as Richard II. She waited outside the stage door and was able to get a photo with him.

Future Goals: Lai minored in business because she wanted to keep her options open and is thinking about an MBA. She would like to start her own business—maybe a bakery or nonprofit. “I think I would like to be an entrepreneur—and I’ve been baking since I was 3.”

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