Kristin Kan, '05 University Scholar. Photo by Cliff Cheney
In her four years at Baylor, Kristin Kan has kept a foot solidly planted in two worlds as she built bridges between Baylor students and the Waco community. As external vice president of the Student Government and a member of many other groups on campus, Kan established herself as a leader who serves -- and connects.
"I see leadership positions as a chance to bring my skills and passions to that position for affecting change. I can learn so much from other leaders in trying to develop who I am," says Kan, a University Scholar who graduated in May.
Although friends identify her as a natural leader, staying organized doesn't come easily for her. "All of it's very enjoyable, but if I look at it too much, it's just overwhelming," Kan says about the numerous meetings, Student Government responsibilities and community and campus projects she juggled in addition to schoolwork.
One of those projects was One Book One Waco, founded by Kan and several other Baylor students at the end of her freshman year to integrate Baylor students and the community. The program encourages everyone to read the same book and then discuss it in small groups.
On campus, Kan and a team of students started the 2012 Council, which she describes as "our own investigative body about what Vision 2012 is." The goal was to help students understand how they could help bring Baylor's plan for long-term growth to life. A student-to-student mentoring program for incoming freshmen was one new program that came out of the council's discussion.
Her volunteer efforts, placement in the top quarter of her class academically and leadership potential led to her being named a Truman Scholar in her junior year. The prestigious national scholarship includes a $26,000 award for graduate study, among other benefits. She plans to attend Johns Hopkins Medical School this fall.
"As college students, we're trying to find ourselves," Kan says. "In self-exploration, it also is important to develop our role as citizens in the community."