With her fire red curls and lipstick, Christin sweeps everyone off their feet immediately, blowing you away with her elegance, energy and unique drive. Growing up in a small town in Thüringen, Christin soon felt the need to seek new shores, making her own way around the world, living in England, Australia, Canada and Japan. Studying English, German and Education, Christin always had a passion for the field of education, however, she soon realized that she was more interested in learning than teaching. Hence, she pursued her passion for literature and language with a Master in European Literatures followed by a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. Combining her two passions: traveling and learning, she had the opportunity to become part of different research exchanges in Japan and the UK. After her research position in Canada, where she specialized in race, gender, and postcolonial studies, also teaching language and literature classes as well as working as a translator for English/German and Yiddish – Christin decided to step out from behind her years of being in libraries and behind books, and dive into becoming an active member of a young dynamic team and change the world of higher education, enabling refugees to access the ivory tower through digital solutions. Today we are more than happy to have her in our Kiron Family, where she now coordinates projects and partnerships to help support our students.
What is your Role at Kiron?
I am part of the Projects and Partnerships team which means I am working on creating new partnerships. As fundraiser and grant writer I am writing grant applications, thinking up new projects and creating new ways for people to connect with Kiron. I am also a project manager for our project with the H&M Foundation where we focus on student community and study success here at Kiron.
What is your Mission for Kiron?
I want to support our students with everything I do – be it creating new projects, finding new partners, or as a project manager myself. So my mission for Kiron is to continue putting our students first.
Kiron means to me…
The belief that education is a basic human right and should be open to all.
What are the challenges you are facing?
Since refugees feature less in German news these days, I think the interest in supporting our cause has decreased somewhat but the need for support is clearly still there. This discrepancy can be a little frustrating.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love my colleagues who are just a weird set of dedicated, funny, smart and kind people. I get to laugh and learn something new every day. Just last week I organized a Women’s Week as part of my project with the H&M Foundation where I met some of our amazing and inspirational students which was a very humbling experience. I also like coming up with solutions so that naturally feeds into my work.
Something that I find really satisfying is that every workday is different. I worked as a researcher before joining Kiron and while I loved my job, it was basically just me sitting in a room reading and writing – all day, every day. At Kiron I never really know what to expect when I arrive in the morning – a new funding option can suddenly pop up, a student can wander into the office or a chance conversation can turn into a new opportunity.
What was your favorite moment at Kiron so far?
Meeting our female students at the Women’s Week and hearing their stories. And anytime my desk-mate and I get to share a stupid joke.
Describe yourself in one sentence:
I’m curious about anything and everything and always super happy when I learn something new. I have spent five years reading and writing about Japanese imperialism in ridiculous detail – I feel that tells you everything you need to know about me as a person.
Who are you outside of Kiron?
I love to travel. I used to just disappear for months at a time and although I cannot do that anymore, I still like to go and see new places and try new food as much as possible. You can usually find me at places that have good food.
Some last words for Kiron…
Keep listening to our students. We can learn a lot from their stories and we need to work with them side-by-side and auf Augenhöhe.