June 2 is not the only date that Kristina needs to pack for. On June 28, Senior Sociology/Anthropology Major Kristina Fosse will be boarding a plane to China to fulfill her service with the Peace Corps.
Kristina came to Gustavus with as a sophomore count and has been able to graduate in three years. She will be the youngest member of her Peace Corps group, turning 21 before she leaves. After studying abroad in Bangladesh during January 2012, Kristina knew she wanted to serve others and experience other cultures.
“My time in Bangladesh really solidified my decision to apply to the Peace Corps. I am really excited for the whole experience and being able to gain new language skills,” she said.
Once Kristina found out she was accepted to the program, she began researching Chinese culture and has started teaching herself Mandarin with some help from friends.
“One of Kristina’s driving forces is learning and exploring new cultures. While she studied abroad in Bangladesh, she made it her goal to fully immerse herself into the culture, which included breaking some cultural norms to learn the most that she could,”Office Coordinator in the Center for Servant Leadership Jill VanOsdol said.
When Kristina leaves for China, she will train for two months before being assigned to teach English at a university in Southwest China. Right now she is focusing on her last half semester at Gustavus, hanging out with friends, and enjoying her last Gustie experiences.
“She is a constant reminder that to be a Gustie is to be true to oneself. She has truly been a light to this campus,” Sophomore Hayden Goldstien said.
Kristina has worked in the Center for Servant Leadership Office during her three years here and volunteers in the community by doing Study Buddies, teaching English Language Learners (ELL) and adults.
“Kristina has gotten to know a lot of people of campus and, in doing so, has inspired others to do the same,” VanOsdol said.
“Whenever I see her, I am greeted with a smile. Kristina has such a big heart and is always positive,” Sophomore Mariah Wika said.
“I have had the opportunity to really get to know Kristina over this past year, and she is a very inspiring person. She has shown me what is truly possible when you dedicate yourself to a goal.”
As an Art Scholar, Kristina enjoys expressing herself in photography in and out of the classroom and is also an Art Editor on Firethorne.
“Kristina has a creative mind and is a very thoughtful person, yet still has a great sense of humor,”Kristina’s cousin, Sophomore Nick Reiners, said. “The saying that ‘your college years are the best of your life’ is so true, and I am so grateful that I got the chance to spend some of them with a family member, who also happens to be one of my closest friends.”
Kristina has embraced the Gustavus experience by taking risks and giving 100 percent of herself to what she works on.
“If I could describe Kristina in one way, it would be Portlandia. Partially because she likes the show, partially because she is a borderline hipster, but mainly because she isn’t afraid to be herself,” Goldstien said.