Busy Sharkey in running for NCAA Woman of Year Roland Park grad studies in England

November 14, 1992|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

Catherine Sharkey is 22 years old, but she has packed a lot of impressive activity into that brief life span.

In just the past four years alone, Sharkey has:

* Won two team Most Valuable Player awards as goalkeeper on the Yale lacrosse squad.

* Graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a 3.9 grade-point average.

* Earned a Rhodes Scholarship to study economics at Magdalen College in Oxford, England.

* Tutored high school students in algebra at inner-city schools and volunteered at a Connecticut juvenile detention center.

"I'm definitely happiest when I'm the busiest. The way I enjoy myself is by getting involved in stuff," said Sharkey, by phone from England.

Getting involved has put Sharkey, a Baltimore native who attended Roland Park Country School, in position to win the NCAA Woman of the Year award, to be presented Monday in Chicago.

The award, which recognizes athletic accomplishments, academic achievement and community service, seems tailor-made for Sharkey, who was nominated by her school and selected as Connecticut's winner by a panel of journalists. There are nine other finalists.

"I was backpacking across the country after graduation and I was in contact with home a lot and I kept hearing about how I was progressing [in the contest]," Sharkey said. "I can't remember which canyon I was at when I heard, but I kept thinking, 'Life couldn't be better.' "

Sharkey deferred entrance into the Yale Law School to accept the Rhodes Scholarship, which has been won by prominent athletes such as Rep. Tom McMillen, D-Md., and Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J.

Sharkey said she chose Yale because she could continue to play lacrosse on a level that wouldn't conflict with her educational pursuits. She was named team captain and started in goal all four years at Yale.

While in England, Sharkey, who majored in economics and politics, will study the application of economics in public policy.

Eventually, she said she'd like to study the effects of democratic reform in the former Soviet Union and across the rest of what used to be Communist Eastern Europe, combining all she has learned with a law degree.

"I know how I want to integrate all the these things I'm learning, but I'm not sure what vocation I'll apply them in," said Sharkey.

Thanks to a friend who recruited her, Sharkey has found a lacrosse league in England and is playing for the college team.

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