Avila University
AU Spotlight
Submitted October 27, 2009
Let’s Scare Mindy Kinnaman

Mindy Kinnaman,
Assistant Residence Life Coordinator

Avila University’s Assistant Residence Life Coordinator Mindy Kinnaman uses technology, experience and personal attention to foster self-awareness and growth in Avila students.

As assistant residence life coordinator, Kinnaman is responsible for the supervision of staff, advisement of student leadership groups, development of comfortable living and learning communities and assisting individuals with their personal needs. Kinnaman, however, is determined to connect with students in new ways. One way she does this is through her podcast, “Let’s Scare Mindy.”

Kinnaman hosts a weekly podcast in which people share stories in an attempt to scare her. She has completed eight episodes of “Let’s Scare Mindy,” and the podcasts are now available on iTunes. Kinnaman also co-hosts two film review podcasts about Korean film and film in general.

“Podcasting is a very fun way to share things I love with other people, and so far, all three of my shows have been very well received,” Kinnaman said.
Kinnaman also stays busy as a freelance writer for The Kansas City Star. As a freelancer, Kinnaman writes stories and school notes for the Jackson and Cass County Neighborhood News. She also prepares the Overland Park Police Blotter for the Overland Park Neighborhood News.

“I worked at The Star for a few years as a clerk and was able to write stories during that time,” Kinnaman said. “As I left to return to higher education, my editor asked if I wanted to write stories as they would come up. I love the work because it has introduced me to some amazing people living in the Kansas City area, and I feel honored to get to share their stories with others.”

While Kinnaman enjoys her podcasts and freelancing, her true calling is higher education. She is currently working on a master’s degree in higher education administration and is working on research in her field.

“I am currently working on a research project on how much the judicial affairs field has changed following the Virginia Tech shootings,” Kinnaman said. “This fall, as part of my internship, I will be working to help create a judicial review board for Avila to provide students involved in incidents with an unbiased panel to review their cases.”

"Podcasting is a very fun way to share things I love with other people, and so far, all three of my shows have been very well received."

Kinnaman’s hard work earned her the Advisor of the Year award for her work co-advising Avila’s Group Activities Programming (GAP). GAP plans and promotes a variety of social, cultural, recreational, and educational events and activities to meet the co-curricular needs of the entire student body.

“I continually try to be aware of what I am doing, experiencing and sharing with others, as well as continually trying to learn more and grow as a person,” Kinnaman said. “I also try my best to help others become more self-aware, and I frequently challenge students as it helps them learn and grow.”

Kinnaman said she knew she wanted to work in higher education since she was in college. As a residence advisor during her undergraduate studies at Missouri State University, Kinnaman said she realized that she wanted to stay an RA forever.

“At the advice of the director of housing, I found myself applying for jobs across the country,” Kinnaman said. “I ended up settling in San Antonio, Texas, as a resident director and realized that I just really loved working with students, programming and judicial affairs. I really love seeing students mature, hit that point where they no longer think solely about themselves but about their place in the world and how they can have a positive impact upon it. That moment is why I chose higher education, and it’s what makes this job more than just a paycheck. It’s what makes this my passion.”
Kinnaman said that she hopes to inspire students to realize that they have the potential to do anything they set their minds to.

“Too often, we hear tales of people who had grand ideas only for them to be shot down by others,” Kinnaman explained. “Every person has the ability to dream, but they also need the confidence necessary to push them toward working to achieve their goals. I only want the best for students, and I try to do everything I can to help them. When I’m with students, I always get to know them better, so I can see what drives and motivates them and so that I can help them get where they want to be.”

To listen to Kinnaman’s podcast and share your own scary stories, visit http://letsscaremindy.podbean.com. AU