Thirty-nine years ago, Loras admitted a first-year student who would go on to shape the lives of thousands of other Duhawks. Colleen Kuhl graduated with a degree in social work and began working full-time at the college immediately following graduation. However, she did not stay in the social work field but brought that background with her through many roles at Loras: director of Binz hall, graduate student, director of residence life and assistant dean of students. She then moved into Campus Ministry, a decision that she made for personal growth as well as career growth. When asked about moving from Student Life to Campus Ministry (CM) Kuhl said, “I love CM, I love theology. I thought, ‘I could do this.’ It wasn’t necessarily a promotion. I just needed to do something different. I think change is good, for the individual and the college.”
Change came again for Kuhl this year, as she moved not only positions, but offices and homes. Kuhl stepped out of her role in Campus Ministry to become the Breitbach Catholic Thinkers and Leaders/Religious Studies/Theology Leadership Coordinator. This new role allows for Kuhl to foster deep relationships with a smaller group of students while, of course, remaining a steady guiding hand for the Loras student population as a whole. Building relationships is one of Kuhl’s favorite things about her role and her previous work at Loras.
“When I was hall director, people who were my RAs, we established some excellent relationships. I learned much from them; I still have those connections. That’s one thing that drew me to this position; I can be directly connected to 60 students plus the alumni (of the Breitbach program).”
Relationship building is one thing that Kuhl finds unique to Loras. She spoke at length about her passion for the Loras community and the intentionality of the Loras community to create and foster relationships, building that into our curriculum and dispositions. Connections and meaningful interactions with students also came out in Kuhl’s professional achievements.
When asked what others would find to be her greatest professional experience, Kuhl said with a giggle:
“Perseverance. There may be something to that. I think they would say it’s my absolute love for students in this incredible time for development and growth. I’ve been able to create relationships with students in every position I’ve been in. I feel like I’m coming around full circle.”