Member Profile: Cristie Kibler

Student Alumni Association member is Maverick to the core

By Mark Permenter

Cristie Kibler

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more enthusiastic UT Arlington Maverick than Cristie Kibler.

“I love this university inside and out,” says the senior political science major. “When I first walked on campus, it just felt like home. I’m so glad I decided to come here. Everything about UT Arlington has been perfect.”

The affinity for her soon-to-be alma mater has grown through her membership in the Student Alumni Association. She joined as a sophomore and now serves as its historian.

The largest student organization on campus with more than 1,600 members, the SAA works to develop student leaders who will support the University when they graduate. It fosters school spirit through events like the Oozeball mud volleyball tournament and the Tuition Raffle, which raise money for scholarships.

“One of the coolest things about being in the Student Alumni Association is the opportunity to get to know alumni,” Kibler says. “You make contacts with people you can lean on when you graduate.”

Through the group’s mentor program, the aspiring lawyer met Fort Worth attorney Theresa Berend, a former Alumni Association Board of Directors president. Berend is convinced Kibler will be a devoted alumna.

“Cristie has already exhibited a loyalty for UT Arlington by participating in multiple campus activities and organizations, including the SAA,” Berend says. “I believe she’ll hold on to the memories she created and the values she learned because the University has been such a big part of her life.”

Kibler’s life as a Maverick has included living in Kalpana Chawla Hall for four years and being a freshman interest group peer counselor. She has been the lead residential peer counselor for two years and is a member of the Honors College.

Away from campus, she’s a five-time participant in the Miss Texas competition. In fact, a $1,000 scholarship she received as Miss Southlake drew her to UT Arlington. With breast cancer awareness as her platform, she hopes to be an avenue of support for children with a loved one battling the disease.

Kibler volunteers and sings at cancer fundraisers like Relay for Life and Race for the Cure. When she performs, the selections often come from her All Things Country CD. She steers clear of country music in Miss Texas competitions, however, preferring to belt out Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love or Somewhere from the musical West Side Story.

She will compete again this summer, this time as Miss Highland Park, but right now she’s focused on getting her bachelor’s degree and preparing for graduate school. When she earns that UT Arlington diploma in May, she plans to give back the way others have done for her.

“Alumni do a lot for us, and I’d like to be in a position to do the same for students when I graduate.”

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