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An Interview With Jenna Kastan

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

On May 13, Northwestern’s Relay for Life raised over $137,000 for the American Cancer Society. The event, which was overnight to symbolize that “cancer never sleeps,” was such a success in large part to the dedication of Event Co-Chair Jenna Kastan. Jenna, a third-year student who’s graduating early, has a long history of participating in Relay for Life. Combine that with her other commitments on campus and it’s no surprise she’s our latest Campus Celebrity!
Year- Senior
Major- Psychology
Hometown- Montvale, New Jersey
Birthday- May 4, 1990
HC: What else are you involved in?
Jenna: I’m in Kappa Delta. I’ve had lots of different positions in KD. I’m also an assistant lab manager at a psychology research lab on campus.
HC: How did you get involved with Relay for Life? What has that experience been like for you?
Jenna: I started participating my freshman year of high school, so that was seven years ago. My brother actually participated in it first, so I went along with him and realized what a great event it was. The next year, I got involved with the planning committee, and I was with that until my graduation. At Northwestern, I joined as a committee member, then Public Relations/Fundraising Co-Chair, and now this year I’m an Event Co-Chair.
The experience has been amazing. We put in a year’s worth of effort for each event, then that one day of the year it all really comes together. It validates my hard work and effort, and validates everyone else’s too. There’s a whole Exec committee and almost a thousand participants who fundraise online. It’s nice to see. This year we raised $137,087. It was exhilarating.
HC: What was the best part about this past Relay for Life? What was the most challenging?
Jenna: The biggest challenge was recruiting participants and fundraising. With the economy being as frustrating as it is and with other fundraisers that are also really important, it’s always a little bit of a struggle to promote Relay’s cause. But it ended up turning out great and we also got a few more participants than last year. My favorite part was sitting back during the quieter moments and seeing everything that looked so great on paper come to life.
HC: What do you love most about NU?
Jenna: I like the students. I feel like Northwestern students are especially devoted to philanthropy. Lots of my good friends throw their hearts and souls into their respective philanthropies. They’re getting their education but also giving back to other people who maybe aren’t as fortunate.
HC: What will you miss most about Northwestern?
Jenna: I’m kind of a geek. I’m really going to miss classes. There are great opportunities here to learn about crazy things and then people bring what they have to the table, so that makes it more interesting. I’ll also miss Chicago, but I won’t miss the weather!
HC: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Jenna: If everything goes as planned, I’ll be in my last year of med school. I’m premed now and am applying to schools next year.  I’ve been looking forward to seeing where that takes me.

Monica is a sophomore at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She spent her early years growing up in a small town in Minnesota, but spent the last half of her life in Seoul, South Korea where she developed a city girl love for good food finds and fashion. Journalism has been a major part of her life, but she can also be found relaxing with a cup of coffee, watching movies, and spending time with loved ones. Though she has a tough exterior, Monica is actually a romantic who loves the power of words, the importance of strength in any endeavor, and who always wears her heart on her sleeve.