• Krista Klein
  • Krista Klein
  • Rutgers College '08
  • Major(s): Journalism and Psychology
  • Minor(s): Sociology

Activities:  New Student Orientation, FIGS, Honors Peer Mentoring

What attracted you to Rutgers University and the Honors/Scholars Program?

As a prospective student, my tour experience really attracted me to Rutgers. I remember feeling so much excitement when we visited the RAC (now Jersey Mike's Arena) and thinking about being a part of something so much bigger than myself. As for the Honors Program, I knew I had the opportunity to engage with other scholars with so many different backgrounds and experiences in a smaller environment. I felt that I had access to the resources of a large public university while experiencing a smaller college feel in my cozy McCormick community.

Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after Rutgers? Where you do you live? What was your first job after Rutgers? Where you do you live?
I'm a higher education and student affairs professional, and I have remained committed to this work since I first began exploring it as an undergraduate student. For the last decade, I've worked with college students (including at Rutgers!) to support their academic, personal, and professional development in various ways. I am committed to developing changemakers and students who will ultimately go on to live a life with purpose, which is work that I am able to do at the Honors College in New Brunswick. I continue to live in New Jersey with my partner and my daughter - we're a very Rutgers family!

What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since you graduated from Rutgers?
Since graduating from Rutgers, my greatest personal and professional accomplishment has been developing an understanding of how to navigate transitions. From becoming a mother to working with students during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have found so much fulfillment in understanding the ways that transition and disruption affect all of us and how we can become resilient in rising to these challenges. I'm currently finishing my doctoral work which is focused on this topic and am looking forward to sharing more of what I have learned when that's completed.

Was there a class and/or experience at Rutgers that led you to pursuing your current career?
As an undergraduate student, I applied to become an orientation leader when some of my floormates told me about the position. Serving as an orientation leader and engaging in the leadership development opportunities that followed completely changed my career path from an interest in sports journalism to higher education and student affairs. I was able to participate in a truly experiential learning experience which involved understanding college student development theory while simultaneously helping other students develop.

What three words describe your experience at Rutgers and the Honors/Scholars Program? 
Connection. Exploration. Purpose.

How has your Rutgers and Honors education benefited you in your post-Rutgers life?
My Rutgers and Honors education has shaped my career and much of who I am as an adult today. As I continue my work in higher education, I am constantly reflective of my journey and the stories of those around me from my first day in McCormick Suites all the way to my graduation. The connections I made at Rutgers continue to be some of the most important relationships I have, and the opportunities I received led me to my current purposeful and meaningful work. I will always bleed Scarlet!

What advice do you have for our current SAS Honors Program students?
Based on the three words that shaped my Rutgers and Honors experience, I would advise current students to find their community first, explore opportunities to grow and evolve, and ultimately look toward something that gives them meaning and purpose in their daily life.

Are you a Rutgers Honors alum? Be featured in an upcoming Honors Alumni Spotlight by completing our online submission form.


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