Mary Kate Short, Junior


  • Hometown: Reno, Nev.
  • LMU junior
  • Major: animation, School of Film and Television
  • Recipient, Betty Werner Memorial Scholarship
  • Swimmer
  • Best races: butterfly/distance; freestyle/individual medley

In the Moment
“When I stand on the block, the water holds victory or defeat. It can be very overwhelming, and very powerful. The thing I’ve learned is, at that moment, to try to focus, keep in control, and remember all the things I’ve been working on all season. I have to stay calm and not psyche myself out.”

“The first semester of my sophomore year, I did a group project with two other girls, Emily Crosby and Ying Wu. We made a short film about childhood sweethearts who grow old together.
“In animation, nothing is produced individually. It’s always going to be a team project. We were determined to pull it off, and I’m really proud of it. It’s the most clear, precise animation I’ve ever done.”

Hard Work and Scholarship
“I’ve been swimming since I was seven or eight years old. I’ve been working at it my whole life, and to get college paid for is unbelievable.
“Swimming is a job in itself. With the scholarship, it’s definitely easier on my family, and for my future. Everything that I’ve worked for my whole life is now worth it.”

If Life Were a Musical
“I love creating a world you can escape into. My favorite movie would have to be ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’ I would love to be able to live in the time the movie portrays, but that kind of a world can never exist in your real life.
“In high school, not many of my friends liked the kind of movies I did. But now that I’m in film school, there are a lot more people who appreciate them.”

Stress-Free Zone
“Sunken Garden is a beautiful part of campus, where all the students can come and just be kids — play catch, get some sun, catch up with friends, etc. It’s a stress-free zone. It brings people together.”

Childhood Memories
“‘The Little Mermaid’ is one of my favorite movies. When I was little, I saw a coloring book with Sebastian, from ‘The Little Mermaid,’ in this really weird reclining position. That image is on my cell phone home screen.”

Right Place
“Getting accepted into the animation program was an incredible moment, an incredible feeling. LMU still teaches hand-drawn animation, and that’s the kind I want to do.
“Also, LMU is a well-rounded experience, and it’s Jesuit. I wanted that. When I first walked onto campus, I knew I was in the right place. I couldn’t have hoped for anything better.”