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Gracious and born into one of the more famous families in Starfleet history, Kate graduated at the top of her class with one of the few Kobayashi Maru solutions deemed to be "adequate" in the eyes of her instructors. She was assigned to the USS Eagle in hopes that she might broaden her field experience and gain seniority by extension. She left the academy three weeks ahead of graduation due to the extenuating circumstances surrounding her assignment.
Despite being what some would refer to as a wunderkind, Kate is a bit of an introvert, which has made her a bit timid about approaching this early assignment. Some of her instructors felt that perhaps she had not made the right choice in entering the field of security/tactical operations. It was their hope that Kate's assignment to the USS Eagle would help indicate whether she reacted better to a more tasking environment.
Kate holds Sean O'Connell in high regard as a result of his numerous attempts to push her toward getting more out of her efforts. Seeing Kate as a young and promising officer, O'Connell worked to train her within a year to become a world champion (four times Academy Triathlon and one time Earth Aikido). It is perhaps because of this close relationship that Kate was selected to serve under O'Connell aboard the USS Eagle.