The spring class of 2020 hasn’t had a traditional conclusion to their studies, but they do have a lot of great stories.

Over the summer months we’ll be profiling some of them.

Kristin Brandt

Kristin BrandtDegree earned – Master of Music in Music Education
Hometown – Freeport, Ill.
High School – Freeport High School
Undergraduate Degree – Carthage College – B.A. in Music Education

What are some of your best memories of your time at NIU?
My best memories all come back to the relationships I have built! I have become a better educator and person because of the people I have met at NIU!

What’s next for you?
I will begin my 7th year of teaching music! I teach K-5th grade general music in Kenosha, Wisc. I hope to continue my own learning, so I am at my very best for my students!

What is one piece of advice or something you learned that you know you’ll be leaning on as you start the next phase of your career or education?
The one piece of advice I have learned throughout my time is to never stop learning. It is important to remember that just because you have the degree doesn’t mean you should stop learning. There is always more to learn and gain in life and your career! Take opportunities that will help you continue to grow!

If you could thank someone (or more than one person) that you didn’t get a chance to thank before you left, who would it be, and what would you say?
I would like to thank Dr. Mary Lynn Doherty for always encouraging me in my work as an educator and helping me solve obstacles when needed! You have been an incredible mentor and someone I will always look up to!

What is something you’d like to come back to do one more time?
I would like to come back one more time to take in the surroundings and enjoy the great people! College campuses have always held a special place in my heart. I feel my best and happiest in these environments!

What are some of the things you are most proud of from your time at NIU?
I am proud of the work I have done and the knowledge I have gained. It wasn’t always easy working full time and being enrolled in a graduate degree program…but it was worth it! I have already seen my students benefit from me continuing my own education! I hope I can inspire them to reach for their goals and dreams and to pursue whatever it is they want!

If you could give some advice to the high school class of 2020 who will be starting at NIU in the fall, what would it be?
Enjoy every moment. College will be some of the best years of your life. Say yes to all the opportunities given to you. You won’t regret it! Work hard, have fun, and use this time to grow into the person you want to be! The years will fly by and you will miss them one day!

Keep an eye out for more profiles of the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts class of 2020.