Kristin Kyser’s mom often tells people that her daughter can enter a room of 100 strangers and know them all within minutes. But coming to a university more than 20 times the size of her hometown was a bit unsettling for an 18-year-old freshman.
“Moving from a small town, I was scared about meeting people,” said Kyser, who grew up in Johnson City in the Texas Hill Country.
Joining the Leadership Commonwealth freshman interest group, designed for high school leaders who want to expand their skills in college, smoothed the transition.
“That first year can be confusing,” she said. “But when you know people who are going where you’re going, it helps you get familiar with the place.”
So familiar that she soon began helping other students adjust to life at UT Arlington. She joined the UTA-HOSTS! mentoring program through which she counseled new students who experienced the same uncertainty she did. She was elected to the UTA Ambassadors, a select group that promotes campus traditions and increases awareness of services, programs and activities.
Carter Bedford, associate director of Student Governance and Organizations, was the adviser for the Ambassadors and Kyser’s FIG mentor. He admires her people skills and perseverance.
“Kristin has an innate ability to relate to a diverse crowd and make friends with anyone,” he said. “She doesn’t view failure as a failure, just as another opportunity for growth and development. That’s one of the qualities that is very hard to teach young students today.”
FIGFact: FIG students typically graduate faster than those who don’t join FIGs. Kristin Kyser (’07) earned her bachelor’s degree in advertising in 3½ years.
Kyser also joined Delta Delta Delta, a move that led to her job as chapter resources coordinator for the sorority’s national headquarters in Arlington. She began the position shortly after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in advertising in December 2007, only 3 ½ years after arriving on campus.
Her job involves tracking the day-to-day operations of the 136 Delta Delta Delta chapters in the United States and Canada. She monitors their educational programs on alcohol, hazing and sexual assault, among others duties. Eventually, she wants to work in marketing or advertising.
“I think the FIG experience definitely helped me beyond my freshman year,” she said. “It gave me great friendships and many opportunities to become involved on campus. Knowing more people and getting involved helps you become a more successful college student.”
One of the people she met was Coby Morrison, a former sprinter on the UT Arlington track team. They are engaged to be married.
A quick recap: Kyser joins a FIG, which exposes her to numerous campus organizations, one of which is Delta Delta Delta. She joins, serves an internship with the national office, then lands a full-time job there. She graduates in less than four years and meets her fiancé.
Not bad for a frightened freshman.
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