Spotlight on: Kristy Fenstermaker, ADEP Academic Advisor
By Matthew McLean
Mrs. Fenstermaker recently joined California Lutheran University as an Academic Advisor for the ADEP program. Her education and broad experience in education and counseling at a variety of levels makes her a well-rounded addition to the ADEP team. Please join us in welcoming her to California Lutheran University and get to know her via the following interview:
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am originally from the Bay Area and came to Thousand Oaks to attend California Lutheran University. I received both my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and my Master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance from CLU. My husband and I live in Woodland Hills and I like to travel any chance I get. One of my favorite places to get away is Lake Tahoe where I enjoy hiking, biking and rafting.
How did you become interested in a position at California Lutheran University?
Since graduating, I always desired to come back at some point and work at California Lutheran University. I have a passion for working with non-traditional students, so when I saw the opening for an Advisor for ADEP, I knew it would be something I could see myself doing.
What is your professional background?
The vast majority of my professional experience is in the field of education. Prior to my current role at California Lutheran University, I worked in almost every educational setting including elementary, middle and high school. I also did a counseling fieldwork internship at a local community college. In addition to the field of education, I have also worked as a camp director and a behavior specialist at a residential treatment center for youth. Most recently, I was a counselor to students in grades 7-12 at a charter school in the San Fernando Valley, focusing on students at risk for dropping out.
What was your first impression of the ADEP program?
Everyone in the ADEP program has been so nice and helpful, and has made me feel welcome. Everyone I have encountered that is part of the ADEP program, whether faculty, staff, or administrators are passionate about the program and the role they play in it.
Have you ever worked at any other university aside from California Lutheran? If so, where, and how do other universities compare?
I have not worked at another university.
What excites you most about this position?
I love to learn new things and be challenged. I really enjoy how each student and situation is different from the one before. I really look forward to being a part of this team as the program grows.
What are some of the challenges?
Being new to higher education, I know that it will take some adjusting to from what I am used to at the secondary level. One of the main challenges at first will be learning all of the different major requirements.
What is your definition of success?
For me, success is achieving my goals, setting new ones, and always continuing to grow in every aspect of my life.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?
One of the most rewarding aspects of my career is seeing students achieve their goals. Graduation has always been my favorite part of the year, I love seeing that pride and sense of accomplishment the students feel at graduation. I consider myself to be a “helper”, so the opportunity to assist students in their own educational path is very rewarding for me.