Kat Sorensen has worn many hats over the years, from lacrosse helmets to hairnets, but the reporter’s cap is one that fits her better than most.
Sorensen has been working as a reporter for the Clarion since February of 2017. A resident of Seward, Sorensen covers much of what happens on the eastern side of the peninsula, and keeps tabs on what’s happening with the peninsula fisheries and Kenai and Soldotna city news. She also occasionally makes the trip to Kenai to help out wherever she’s needed.
Sorensen studied journalism while she attended college, but didn’t jump into the field right after graduating. Before moving to Soldotna to join the Clarion team in 2017, Sorensen was an operations manager at a seafood market and also worked at a brewery in New Jersey, where she is from originally.
“After I had eaten a few too many tuna steaks and drank a few too many IPAs, I decided it was time for a change and to start using that fancy, expensive Boston University journalism degree that was hanging over my toilet,” Sorensen said.
Sorensen’s mom, dad and younger brother still live in New Jersey, and Sorensen said that when she goes back home to visit she always goes out fishing with her dad — a tradition that goes back to when Sorensen was 10 and won a competition on her dad’s charter boat to catch the biggest fish, frustrating all the grown men who were competing as well.
Sorensen also has a cadre of cousins and other extended family members, and she said she enjoys her role as the remote Alaska relative.
“There’s a collection of cute kids that I miss tremendously,” Sorensen said. “Sometimes I try to buy them Alaska-themed clothes, but I find it very difficult to gauge sizing for a child and end up sending shirts that are way too big or too small. Hopefully they’ll appreciate their cool Aunt Kat who lived in Alaska and sent them ridiculous gifts nowhere near holidays, just whenever she thought about it.”
When it comes to being a reporter, Sorensen considers it important to inform people about what’s going on around them, and she also happens to enjoy being the one to do it. “I often think of journalism and reporting like a math equation,” Sorensen said. “I have all of these amazing variables — The Who, What, Where, When and Whys. I plug all that information into the equation and the solution is a story for me to share with others.”
Sorensen also takes a lot of satisfaction in talking to a wide variety of people and exploring and sharing their passions or concerns. “Everyone has a story, and I get to hear those stories and then tell them again,” Sorensen said. “How cool is that?”
As the summer approaches, Sorensen will be fairly busy keeping up with the yearly tourism spike and churning out articles for the Clarion. Recently, however, Sorensen has taken up long-distance running in her free time and will be competing in three races this summer: the Exit Glacier Road Race in May, the Anchorage Half Marathon in June and the Mount Marathon Race in July.
“I like races because they give me something to stay committed to and to train for,” Sorensen said. “I’m also a competitive person so I like to tell my friends that my goal is to beat them in Mount Marathon. I have a lot of people I’m supposed to beat.”