Graduate Student Spotlight: Kristin Wyninegar

Briana Cresswell, NASPA IV-W Graduate Student Representative

March 31, 2017

Name: Kristin Wyninegar

Hometown: Saint Charles, MO

Graduate Institution: University of Arkansas

Degree you are working towards: M.Ed. in Higher Education

Undergraduate Institution: University of Missouri- Saint Louis

Why you chose your graduate institution:

During my graduate program search I had two sets of criteria: attend an institution in a different state than my hometown and attend an institution type different than my undergraduate institution. These goals were important to me because I believe that as a rising Student Affairs professional it is beneficial to explore different opportunities that can help you find the best fit for you, as well as, gain an understanding of the regions in which your students are coming from. I chose the University of Arkansas because it provided me an opportunity to challenge myself both personally and professionally.

Why you wanted to go to graduate school:

Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” I felt the best decision for me to keep moving was to attend graduate school. I wanted to continue to challenge myself academically and gain a further understanding of Higher Education as a whole. Graduate school also provided a path for me to engage in different areas of Student Affairs.

 What area(s) of Student Affairs interest you most and why:

I am most interested in the processes and policies surrounding Higher Education and Student Affairs. First Year Experience, Orientation, and Service/Community Engagement are also of interest to me.

What are your hobbies?

I’m not sure if this is a hobby, but I love learning random things and doing odd jobs. I have learned how to make edible arrangements, grow an “apartment garden”, and currently in the early stages of learning how to flip houses. My favorite odd jobs include: being the official New Student Programs photo booth photographer, being an elf in Santa’s Wonderland, being a watercraft beautification engineer, and helping with a demolition derby at a county fair.

If you could take a year off from work/school what would you do?

If I could take a year off from work/school, I would travel the world. I am fascinated with learning and understanding different cultures. I love finding hidden gems and meeting locals. Traveling would also provide me a holistic view of the student experience surrounding higher education.

What is your dream job?

I would love to bring A Wider Circle to various areas of the Midwest and oversee the different locations. A Wider Circle is a non-profit in Maryland that focuses on establishing basic need items, education, and long-term support. Their goal is to end poverty and ensure that every child and adult has an opportunity to succeed.

What/who is your spirit animal?

My spirit animal is Sandra Bullock. I read in a biography that, “she needs and craves variety, change, mental stimulation, and an active social life.” I relate to this statement 100%, plus I strive to be a mix between Gracie Hart and Leigh Anne Tuohy. 

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