Wartburg nurtured my gifts, talents

NAME: Kristin Huinker


MAJOR: Social Work 

CURRENT EMPLOYMENT: Community Development Director, Youth Emergency Services & Shelter

WHY WARTBURG: Wartburg offered small class sizes and an opportunity to immerse myself in activities outside of class, all with a focus on service learning and leadership development.

WHAT DID YOU NEVER IMAGINE YOU WOULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: I started as a biochemistry major, assuming I would pursue a career in biomedical research. But at the suggestion of my academic adviser, I took a chance on Social Work 101 my sophomore year. Never would I have imagined that I am now a proud social worker who asks people for money as a professional fundraiser. And I owe my discovered passion for social justice to Wartburg College.

Kristin Huinker

WHY WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE WORTH IT: I made lifelong friends and found not just my career focus (nonprofit administration/fundraising) but, more importantly, my vocation (social justice and community engagement).

HOW DID YOUR WARTBURG EXPERIENCE PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR FUTURE: I felt immediately prepared and qualified for the workforce thanks to incredible internship opportunities coordinated through the college. My participation in Wartburg West my senior year played a critical role in fostering independence and personal responsibility.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WARTBURG TRADITION: May Term – can’t beat sand volleyball, sun, and only one course.

HOW ARE YOU LIVING OUT THE WARTBURG MISSION: I lead an incredibly fulfilling life that revolves around leadership and service to my community. The gifts and talents nurtured by Wartburg have allowed me to step into leadership roles and experiences I would not have been prepared for without my liberal arts education. Whether it’s serving on a community board, participating in leadership development trainings, or overseeing youth activities at my church, I live out my values every day as a “spirited expression” of my faith and learning at Wartburg.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Service trips are a must. Immerse yourself in the experience. Build relationships with faculty and staff.