Performing At Max Level
Mary Katreeb is a petite, well-spoken college graduate who flourishes on a level most would find exhausting. Starting at the age of just four years old, Mary began training in martial arts. It was simply because of her smaller stature that her parents thought she would need the skills, in case she ever needed to gain the upper hand. What she did gain was a work ethic and stamina that would propel her to remarkable heights in both education and physical pursuits.
“WHEN MARY DIVES INTO SOMETHING, SHE DOESN’T TREAD LIGHTLY; SHE GOES FULL FORCE.”
While attending school locally, Mary was a familiar face at the Max Academy of Martial Arts in Brentwood. She became a black belt in traditional Tae Kwon Do and Blended Martial Arts under the direction of her instructor, Sensei Matt Rosalez, who she considers family. Rising up through the ranks, she went from student to teacher at her dojo by the young age of 15. She then went on to help with customer service and was appointed program director, serving in this position while also attending Los Medanos College in pursuit of her degree in communication studies. She attained her associate degree, graduating with honors and proceeded to California State University, East Bay, majoring in communication and media studies. Says Mary, “I entered college as a kinesiology major, thinking I wanted to continue down a path involving physical fitness. Along the way, after teaching so many classes, I discovered my passion had changed. Not only had I discovered my love for teaching but for communication studies as well.”
When Mary dives into something, she doesn’t tread lightly; she goes full force. Combining many facets of her background in martial arts, she trained intensely in Krav Maga, a tactical, combat-focused self-defense system that Mary is now certified to teach as well. While being a teacher in her dojo, she concurrently immersed herself further in her school’s various cerebral activities.
Taking the art of juggling responsibilities and applying energies where needed to a whole other level, Mary took part in a dizzying array of multiple campus programs. Keeping her focus on communications and civic engagement, she participated in: Food Insecurity Research as a project manager (with a published academic paper coming out soon); #MakeRoom Housing Justice in Higher Ed, as a social media and communications assistant; CSUEB Associated Students, Inc., as an ethics coordinator; Media Freedom Foundation, served as a public relations communications intern; wrote for the California State University, East Bay student-run newspaper, and interned in a social media and public relations position for the Along the Line Podcast.
“TAKING THE ART OF JUGGLING RESPONSIBILITIES AND APPLYING ENERGIES WHERE NEEDED TO A WHOLE OTHER LEVEL, MARY TOOK PART IN A DIZZYING ARRAY OF MULTIPLE CAMPUS PROGRAMS.”
“Not only did Mary graduate, but she did so with summa cum laude honors, finishing in the top 1%.”
Performing at this level would be a huge feat for anyone looking to finish up their degree with their sights set on graduate school. Not only did Mary graduate, but she did so with summa cum laude honors, finishing in the top 1%. A full scholarship will assist this young woman as she plots her path toward her Master of Science degree in Communication Studies at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. Adds Mary, “I am most excited about being selected as a graduate teaching assistant, teaching public speaking to college freshmen. I am hoping to broaden my teaching efforts further and also conduct women’s self-defense classes on campus. Civic engagement will continue to be one of my pursuits. Considering the victimization rates of college women, I feel moved to share my strengths in both my martial arts training and rhetoric, to educate and enrich my fellow students. I want everyone to feel safe, confident, and protected while on campus— martial arts training provides that comfort.”
While in Illinois, Mary will work at her local Orangetheory Fitness as a sales associate. Staying fit will always be a priority for this overachiever extraordinaire, but her next opportunity is a challenge most will never meet. “My boss from the Max Academy of Martial Arts, his brother (who is the Head Instructor), and I have all passed through the initial audition process for the show ‘The Floor is Lava,’ and we are waiting to hear back regarding filming,” says Mary. If one thing’s for sure, this spitfire scholar can think her way around any obstacle. And with her physical training and dedication to building her body to its utmost performance, the only possible distinction to add to her growing list of credentials and accreditations is–champion!