Why We Give – Crystal (Fishburn) ’11 and Steven Walker

KWC helped me blossom. I went to college as a shy and uncertain girl and emerged a strong, confident woman. KWC’s faculty and staff nurtured me, helped me realize my potential, and pushed me just enough outside my comfort zone that I was able to flourish. I will forever be grateful for my time at KWC and what it did for my life. That’s why I give.

I am a born introvert and have always been nervous in large settings. I attended a fairly large high school (Hopkinsville) and knew I needed to attend a smaller college to feel comfortable. I visited during an open house the summer before my senior year of high school and fell in love. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, the campus was small enough that I didn’t feel overwhelmed, and it just felt like home. I remember telling my parents on the drive home that KWC was where I wanted to be. I was fortunate enough to get a significant scholarship which made my dream possible.

I currently serve as the director of admissions for Miami University Regionals. As a student ambassador at KWC , Lairy Nofsinger ’59 told me I should be an admissions counselor when I graduated. I always wrote off the suggestion, but a few years later he was my colleague in the KWC Admissions Office. I never imagined those subtle hints would turn into a career. I spent 3.5 years in KWC Admissions before relocating to the Cincinnati area. I decided this was a great opportunity to change careers and put my marketing knowledge to work. I started at a software development company as the manager of media and outreach, overseeing the external communications, awards submissions, website and events. After a couple of years there, an opportunity opened at WGI Sport of the Arts, and I worked as the marketing and communications manager. This was a really fun environment for me as WGI is an event company for the indoor marching arts. I was a former color guard member and percussionist, so this was right up my alley. Ultimately, I missed working with students and helping them find their paths after high school. When a position at Miami University opened, I jumped at the chance to work in higher ed again.

I was a business administration major with a marketing emphasis, and from my first day on campus in KW1101 with Professor Chenna to walking across the stage at graduation and shaking Dr. Turner’s hand, I had a great time at KWC. I will never forget Dr. Asefa in her Tigger costume every Halloween and my favorite class, advertising, with Dr. Randy Vogt. Outside the classroom, I was involved in several student organizations. C.R.O.S.S. (Christ Reaching Out Serving Students) and Cindy Pelphrey (Campus Ministries) were a huge part of my life during my time at KWC. Cindy was a second mom to me and even officiated our wedding. I loved going across the street every Tuesday for C.R.O.S.S. One of my favorite memories was being part of I.M.P.A.C.T., the creative ministries team. We learned dances, sign art, puppetry, etc. to contemporary Christian music. One year we did a dance to “Send Me” by Lecrae, and it was so fun!

I also have a lot of great memories from my time in Kappa Delta. I never imagined that I would join a sorority, and didn’t until spring open bidding, but everyone was so awesome. I remember calling my mom right after the event and telling her I wanted to join. I worked on campus to pay my dues and eventually was an officer. I loved going to Girls, Inc. to volunteer. My favorite memory there was facilitating the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty program with the girls. I loved helping them realize they are beautiful and wonderful just the way they are; the models they see in magazines and on billboards are photoshopped and airbrushed. KDUB Idol is another favorite memory. One year, Kappa Delta did a dance to “The Creep” and had the crowd laughing so hard! I cherish every memory… even the 2 a.m. fire alarms in Massie.

Steven and I have three boys; Conner (15), Zak (9), Oli (3), and Kiki, the cat. We love living in the Cincinnati area with so many things to do. We are avid football fans (Go Mason Comets and WHO DEY!), love spending time at Kings Island and exploring new local spots.

While Steve didn’t graduate from KWC, KDub changed his life. He found a love for computers and software while taking classes with Joe Elliott which launched his career as a software engineer. He loves working with all sorts of coding languages and analyzing code and data. KWC was a springboard where he found his passion and has a wonderful career.