Cristen has been engaged on campus since her first semester, serving as a member of the Student Veterans Club and the Cultural Engagement and International Service Club. Last year, Cristen traveled with seven other students to Costa Rica for one week of service and cultural immersion, which included planting at a biodynamic farm, painting a home for a low-income family, a beach clean-up, and volunteering with local schoolchildren. This academic year, Cristen is Treasurer of the Cultural Engagement and International Service Club, as well as Co-Student Coordinator for this years' service trip to Peru. Prior to enrolling at Mount Wachusett Community College, Cristen served for eight years in the United States Army as a military police officer and investigator in Hawaii and Alaska. During her service, Cristen consistently sought out extensive trainings to promote the safety of her peers and local community members, inclusive of suicide prevention, as well as child abuse and domestic violence prevention and intervention. Cristen was released from duty with over twenty citations from domestic and international organizations for outstanding service. She is a credit to our college and to our country.
When I was young my dad taught me the importance of volunteering. We volunteered at homeless shelters where we brought food and stayed overnight to ensure the safety and welfare of everyone. As I got older, I continued my volunteer work and soon realized that volunteering was not only beneficial for the volunteer but for the community as well. Through volunteering, I met many different people from all walks of life. Meeting these people taught me that not everyone thinks the same. I learned the importance in listening and keeping an open mind even when somebody's opinions and beliefs are different than your own. In today's society, people frequently have conflicting opinions without engaging in productive conversation with each other. If this discourse were to occur, often times these individuals with different perspectives, would find themselves agreeing more than they disagree. I brought a conservative speaker to our college campus in order to start dialogue between students, faculty, and staff so we could realize that we may have different political ideas but we will find common ground to stand on together.