Meet Kari Hagemann, the Hall Director for Prentiss-Lucas Hall. She is someone who is funny yet serious, but also knows how to lighten the mood in any situation. Originally graduating with a degree in graphic design from Winona State, Kari now has a degree in higher education from The University of Kansas and works in Housing and Residence Life here at Winona State.
Her Campus (HC): Let’s start off with an easy question: tell us a little about yourself!
Kari Hagemann (KH): Wait, this is an easy one? I think this is one of the hardest ones!
I am a creative person, hence why I started out in graphic design. I’m also caring, which people usually tell me. Family and faith are really important to me, which I think is the biggest thing that people should know about me.
HC: What led you from being a graphic designer to your current position as a hall director?
KH: I found myself enjoying my work more than my classes. I found myself wanting to participate in my extracurriculars, such as National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH). I didn’t like sitting in front of the computer all day; I wanted to be more active. I was an RA at Winona State and I really enjoyed working with my residents. I knew that graphic design was not for me and my supervisor at that time showed me that I could get a degree in higher education, which involved interacting more with people than graphic design did. Typically people who are in higher ed are really involved in housing and their extracurriculars. You can have any undergraduate degree to get your masters in higher education.
HC: What is your favorite thing about being a hall director?
KH: Working in a freshmen-heavy residence hall such as PL. I like to see the changes in the residents. Some of these things are going from having their parents talk to their RA on move-in day to the residents talking to their RA themselves. I also like seeing them mature in general.
I like working with the staff and student leaders, especially the RAs because people don’t know all the hard work they put into their job as well as their role as students and I like to see them grow as individuals themselves.
HC: What is your favorite thing (or things) about Winona?
KH: For undergrad students, you should find a friend that lives in Winona because they show you so much more than you think you may know. They can show you fun places that many of the college students don’t know about.
I really like hiking in different places other than Garvin and Sugarloaf. I also really like the people because they put on so many cool events, such as the Midwest Musical Fest. Summers are really awesome, especially going to the farmers market and the co-op. I really like the smiley fries at Lakeview and how there are disc golf courses around the lakes.
HC: If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
KH: New Zealand. It’s definitely on my bucket list and I wish I went on the Pacific Challenge when I was at Winona. I regret not traveling and studying abroad in my undergrad. It was hard to do because I was so involved on campus, so I am trying things out now. I am going on a European trip with my family in the future, which I am really excited about.
HC: What motivates you?
KH: In work and work ethic, growth is really important; I like to learn new things. I like to be challenged. I also don’t like to let people down, so I try to get my things done on time.
In life, my family and my faith motivate me to be a caring and selfless person. It’s important to put others first and care for others.
I am also really competitive, with others and myself. I am a really competitive person on the outside. (After this comment, Kari and I reminisce about RA training week and how one of the paddles for PL broke in the canoe race.)
HC: What’s your favorite piece of advice you have heard or live by?
KH: I have a changing background on my computer and one of them says “Do epic sh**.” (Wait, can I say that?) It always motivates me to do something worthwhile.
Stress doesn’t exist; it is just perceived in your mind. It’s important that stress doesn’t rule your life. You are in control of what’s going on, so you are the person that is creating the stress for yourself, not other people, things, or events. I think this is really important and I try to live by it everyday.
HC: Finally, how does it feel to be selected as a profile for Her Campus?
KH: It feels cool, awesome. I think it is awesome that you provide a space where you have a ton of authors that talk about a lot of different things. You also write a lot about women, and it is an important time right now to be a woman and get your voice heard and your organization is a place that does that.
So there is Kari, a passionate person who loves her job, doesn’t let stress get to her, and finds motivation in many different areas of her life. Oh, and really likes the smiley fries at Lakeview. I am lucky to have Kari as my hall director and, personally, I don’t think there is anyone else better to have for my year as an RA. Thank you Kari for being an awesome person and never stop being you.