Kristine Kengor is currently the Housefellow for the Stever House, a first-year residence hall located on Morewood Avenue. Additionally, as a coordinator for Residential Education, she spearheads community service and civic engagement initiatives across the Carnegie Mellon campus, including in the residence halls. One specific campus initiative that she co-directs is PACE (Partners Allied in Civic Engagement), a collaborative student and staff program aimed at increasing participation in civic engagement activities and creating a pervasive culture of civic engagement across campus.
Kristine completed her undergraduate studies at Bucknell University, where she studied economics and political science. She earned her master’s in higher education administration at Penn State University and is currently working towards her doctorate in social and comparative analysis of education at the University of Pittsburgh.
How did you come to join Carnegie Mellon?
My good friend and colleague Bryan Koval (Housefellow for Morewood Gardens) told me about the position because he thought it would be a great fit for me. I had worked in residence life in the past and was working in service learning at the time. Since this job was a combination of both of those areas, I jumped at the opportunity. Plus, it was a chance for me to come home to Pittsburgh, be closer to my family, and go back to school.
What are you looking forward to most for the Stever community this coming year?
This year in Stever I am most looking forward to making this place feel like a home. I want students to walk into our building and feel like they have the ability to entirely be themselves and to truly exhale when they come home. PACE (Partners Allied in Civic Engagement) is also focusing their educational programming on Environmental Justice this year. I am looking forward to collaboration between PACE and Stever to focus on sustainability and the fact that Stever is a LEED Certified building.
What is an important life lesson you have learned from a student or students?
I continually learn from this line of work and from students that we cannot possibly know what struggle or challenge someone is going through unless we really take the time to slow down and listen to each other.
Outside of work, what are your hobbies/interests? What are you passionate about?
Because I am in school a lot, much of my “free time” is spent on school work! I am interested in social class identity development within higher education, specifically for students at schools like Carnegie Mellon. I am also passionate about being part of my church community, helping retired racing greyhounds find their forever homes through Steel City Greyhounds, trying new restaurants around the city, and sampling craft beers.
All-time favorite book?
A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken. It’s his autobiography about his relationship with his wife, with C.S. Lewis, and with Christianity.
Tell us at least one thing that’s on your bucket list.
This past summer I purchased a passport to America’s national parks while I was in the Grand Canyon. I would love to fill that by camping at as many national parks as I can!
If you could give first-year students one single piece of advice as they start their journey here at Carnegie Mellon, what would it be?
Don’t over do it! Allow enough time in your schedule so that you can enjoy your experiences while fully engaging in the classes you are taking.