From Scientist to Community Engagement Leader
How AmeriCorps VISTA Changed Tim’s Life
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, Tim Krumreig, a Bonner graduate of Oberlin College, ventured into the world inspired by his roles of Congress Representative and Senior Intern within his own Bonner Program. He yearned to pursue higher education despite majoring in geology. Unfortunately, the post 2012 recession job market made exploring passions and taking risks challenging. With the help of a bowling alley, Tim did something he promised himself he would never do: he joined AmeriCorps VISTA.
Never Say Never
Eighty job applications after graduation, Tim still wasn’t living his dream of working with students in higher education. Instead, he was working part-time at Target, trying to find a way to apply his experiences to find a career path.
“I majored in geology, but I really majored in Bonner. By the time I graduated, I realized that working with college students and engaged programs was something that I could do as a career
Not until he accepted a job as the Assistant Manager of Oberlin’s bowling alley did he find himself back on a college campus. It was here where the director of Oberlin’s Bonner Center for Service and Learning urged him to reconsider serving a VISTA term, an option he had previously ruled out due to financial restrictions. Now, Tim cites joining AmeriCorps as the one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
Never Forget Community
Tim began his VISTA experience through a Campus Compact program at Simmons College in Boston, coordinating student programs and designing sustainability elements, but soon worked his way up to serving full-time positions. Most recently, he served as the Program Manager of Campus Compact of Southern New England (CCSNE). He helped to merge Massachusetts Campus Compact’s VISTA Program with programs in Connecticut and Rhode Island to form a tristate VISTA project.
When reflecting on his experiences thus far, Tim thanks both Bonner and Campus Compact for showing him where he belongs in the professional world.
“Where I find myself being most effective and most interested in working is providing people with the platform to do the work that I love. When I was a Bonner, I loved to be able to support Bonners to be Bonners. When I was a VISTA leader, I loved to be able to support VISTAs to be effective capacity building agents on their campuses.”
Among many other takeaways, VISTA has reinforced the power of community in cohort-based models. Tim has not only provided the groundwork for his VISTAs to succeed in their service work, but he has also been there for them when they struggle and thrive personally, a trademark relationship found in higher education. It’s not about authority for Tim, but rather how a community of cohort-members and staff can guide and assist one another.
Never Say Forever
Though work with the Campus Compact network stimulated Tim, when the program moved to Worcester, MA, he wasn’t ready to relocate from Boston. Reflecting on years past, Tim was in the same position. This time, he was better equipped with the knowledge, resources, and intentions he didn’t quite understand as a recent graduate.
“There’s a lot of ways that centers and organizations on college campuses are outward and community facing, and that’s what I was looking for. It wasn’t just traditional civic engagement.”
On his hunt for a placement in the city, Tim landed a job as Northeastern University’s Assistant Director of Community Service, thanks to his connections. His new position is purposed with facilitating student leaders and short-term co-curricular service opportunities beginning July 2018. Tim will also be starting higher education classes at Northeastern in the fall with the flexibility to also pursue studies in non-profit management.
Though his postgraduate adventure began at Target, Tim is now a thriving, experienced professional in higher education and is excited to see what Northeastern has in store for him.
Fun facts about Tim Krumreig:
- Tim loves to travel and spent his first Summer of Service volunteering with a mental health organization.
- Tim has a self-diagnosed passion for cheese.
- During his geology studies in undergrad, Tim’s discovered that his favorite fossil is a trilobite.
Written by Ashlee Renich-Malek, Bonner Alumna at Stetson University ‘18