Major: Psychology/Clinical Counseling, Class of 2015
by Esther Shanahan M'15
How many university presidents invite entire student organizations to their home for dinner?
For Kristine Hernandez, a junior clinical psychology major, dining with KU's president was one of the highlights of her undergraduate experience.
"I've been involved with the Presidential Ambassadors since my freshman year," she explained. "We're an organization that helps alumni connect with KU; we hold different programs all of the time, and recently hosted a networking event. Last year, Dr. Cevallos invited us all to his house for dinner - we were able to sit with him and get to know him better. Who else gets to do that?"
Hernandez credits her membership in Presidential Ambassadors for supplementing her educational experience, fostering a deeper connection to the university and enhancing her leadership skills.
"If I have any advice for an incoming freshman, it would be to get involved right away," she said. "Don't wait. Get involved in anything that interests you; you'll make friends, gain skills and become the person you're meant to be."
With ambitious career plans - Hernandez plans to become a school psychologist - it was important for her to choose a major with comprehensive requirements and a wide variety of course offerings. A clinical psychology major at KU fulfills that condition, training students for work in a variety of settings, including agencies, schools and hospitals.
When choosing which college to attend, Hernandez wanted a school with a student-centered environment and professors who are personally invested in the success of their students. KU met all of her expectations.
"In classes, professors care about your education and will do whatever it takes to help you understand the material," she said. "They really do their best to help you make the most of your learning experience. I've never had a professor who wasn't willing to help me."
Extracurricular involvement has transformed Hernandez, bringing out aspects of her personality and skills that she wasn't aware she possessed. Her time as a community assistant in one of the residential halls was especially influential and helped her develop lifelong friendships.
"My favorite memory is being involved in housing," she revealed. "I felt connected to the staff, I was involved in so many campus events and the friendships I made are incredible. I would recommend KU to anyone I met. Once you visit and see for yourself how beautiful the campus is, you're going to fall in love with it."
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