Texas Tech University

College of Human Sciences Spring 2020 Banner Bearer

Abbey Morgan

April 10, 2020

Mari Kate Northcut

Mari Kate Northcut will be graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Personal Financial Planning

The College of Human Sciences (COHS) has selected Personal Financial Planning (PFP) student Mari Kate Northcut as the Banner Bearer for the Spring 2020 commencement. Mari Kate has always known that she would become a Red Raider and this May she will be the 25th member of her family to graduate with a degree from Texas Tech, the first to have a degree from COHS.

“I was originally born in China and adopted as an infant into a family of Red Raiders,” Mari Kate said. “Although I grew up in the Dallas area, my entire life is filled with memories of Lubbock and Texas Tech. I grew up with family members, teachers, and mentors who are Texas Tech alumni. I had no idea what my major might be, but I decided at the age of six that I was a Red Raider.”

Mari Kate has a strong interest in helping and educating others which is why pursuing a major in the College of Human Sciences turned out to be a perfect fit. After taking an Intro to Personal Finance class her freshman year, Mari Kate began researching the program. The Personal Financial Planning program is the number one financial planning program in the nation and requires attention to detail, serving others, and problem-solving—all things that Mari Kate was looking for in a major 

Mari Kate's PFP major has not stopped her from taking classes in other COHS programs.

“I have learned many skills throughout my time in the College of Human Sciences,” Mari Kate said. “Outside of Personal Financial Planning, I have taken courses in Human Development and Family Studies and Community, Family, and Addiction Sciences. While these majors seem to be in a different realm than PFP, each major is centered on service and relationships. The college taught me that students within different majors are influenced by many outside factors, and we can use skills and knowledge within and outside of our majors to help others. I have learned communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and time management skills that I will use for the rest of my life.”

In addition having a 4.0 GPA, Mari Kate is also involved in many student organizations throughout campus including; Red to Black peer financial coaching, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Secretary for the Personal Financial Planning Association, and the Personal Finance competition team.

Mari Kate has been determined throughout her three years at Texas Tech to one day become the Banner Bearer for the COHS.

“In high school, I worked and studied hard, but I did not graduate in the top 10 percent,” Mari Kate said. “Coming to college, I remember seeing a fellow PFP student, Jacob Gurock, carry the COHS banner at the December 2018 graduation. I looked up to Jake in so many ways, and he set the standard of what kind of student I wanted to become. I told myself that I would work hard and earn the honor of Banner Bearer in May of 2020. I continuously set goals and took on leadership roles. I attended professor's office hours and review sessions, studied for hours in the Canyon Room and El Centro, and spent much of my three years at Tech within the walls of the Human Sciences building. To accomplish my goal and be selected as the Banner Bearer for the College of Human Sciences for May 2020 is an honor and a privilege. I am grateful to everyone who helped me graduate summa cum laude in just three years! The saying, ‘From here, it's possible' is the philosophy of Texas Tech University, and those in the College of Human Sciences helped me reach my goals.”

Following graduation in May, Mari Kate will begin working at a wealth management firm in Dallas. Entering an industry that consists of 23.2% women and 5.4% under the age of 29, Mari Kate has full confidence that Texas Tech has prepared her for whatever the future may hold.

Mari Kate's long-term goals are to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), and one day provide pro bono services to help spread financial literacy. She hopes to be a voice in the growing industry of financial planning and spread the importance of diversity. In her career, Mari Kate looks forward to becoming a mentor and donor to students in the College of Human Sciences.

Congratulations, Mari Kate.