Even with jet lag, Kaitlin “Kate” Weddum has everything well in hand.

Even with jet lag, Kaitlin “Kate” Weddum has everything well in hand.
The Pittsburg State University senior, who grew up in Hiawatha, has just returned from 12 days in Russia.
“I went with Dr. Susan Knell and a group from the PSU curriculum and instruction department,” Weddum said. “This was my last-ditch effort to study abroad, but I didn’t want to spend an entire semester away.”
She admitted that Russia would not have been her first choice of a country to visit, but now has no regrets.
“It was a wonderful experience,” Weddum said. “This was not the typical European country to visit, and we saw some things that many tourists may not see, including a protest in Red Square.  We also got shoved in the subway on a day when there had been a soccer game.”
The group also got to some tourist sights, including many cathedrals, the Kremlin and GUM, an internationally known department store in Moscow.
Weddum enjoyed visiting with the Russian people, including students her own age.
“The Russian people were wonderful — the most hospitable people ever,” she said. “Many of them do not feel the same way that their government does, and many students told me that they’re waiting to see what their president, Dmitry Medvedev, and their prime minister, Vladimir Putin, are going to do.”
The group also visited in Russian grade schools.
“The kids were just adorable, and even the second graders knew some basic English,” Weddum said. “I was very impressed by that. You could tell they don’t have a lot of money for their schools, but they make the most of what they’ve got.”
She especially enjoyed visiting a classroom that had been set up like a “dacha,” a small Russian house.
“The children wore traditional Russian costumes, and they were making traditional pastries and singing old songs. This is a very proud nation, and their heritage and culture are so rich with history.”
Weddum would love to visit Russia again.
“But I’d like to go in the summer, not the winter, because it was so muddy and snowy everywhere,” she said.
It might be a while before she goes, because Weddum will be graduating in May.
“I’m exciting to move on to the next point in my life,” she said. “I am a little nervous about the economy, but I feel I have the skills necessary. I’ve been well-prepared.”
She has a double major in business management and marketing, and that she “truly loves” marketing.
“I don’t want to do run-of-the-mill, go home at 5 p.m. work,” Weddum said. “I want to use my creativity to innovate.”
Her educational experience at PSU has included more than her classes. Weddum is employed in the scheduling office at Overman Student Center, and  was active in the PSU Student Government Association, serving as a senator. She was also chosen to participate in a new organization, Advancement Ambassadors, which works in alumni constituent relations, and served as president of the Order of Omega, a Greek honor society.
Weddum is also a proud member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, and has served it as president, vice president - operations and property coordinator.
“I’ve been very involved in my sorority, and I feel it has given me many rewards,” she said. “The sorority encourages students to do well in school, to respect yourself and take care of yourself. I feel my sorority has prepared me best for leadership in the real world.”
Weddum also gives credit to her parents, Dean and Karen Weddum, who live in the Kansas City area.
“My parents have been a driving force in my life,” she said. “I was such a perfectionist as a child, and my parents always encouraged me to be the best I could be, to go forward for myself and be independent. I probably will settle in the Kansas City area, because it’s important for me to be close to home.”