Kris Arden (October 2022)

Headshot of smiling person with short dark hair in front of a natural setting.

Kris Arden (she/her/hers), Learning Specialist Coordinator, Athletic Study Center

What does your program, unit, or division do on campus?

The Athletic Study Center fosters transformational academic development in student athletes through academic support, advising, and student development services. We seek to develop independent and self-reliant students who feel a genuine sense of academic identity and belonging at UC Berkeley.

Describe your job in five words:

Transformational, relational, challenging, ever-evolving, and fulfilling

Why Berkeley?

UC Berkeley is an incredibly challenging place to be a student athlete, and yet so many of our student athletes are able to break out of survival mode and gain a critical consciousness about how they can leverage their role within the institution to achieve their goals. I love seeing that happen and especially love when I can be part of the process. Plus the Bay is just an incredibly fun place to live and I’m lucky enough to have found a community that makes this place really feel like home.

Over your career, what are some of the things that have helped you move to the next level and to new opportunities?

I’ve been lucky enough to have some really great mentors along the way who have pushed me to learn new things that helped me get to the next level in my career. I’ve also recently started participating in more campus committees so I can see what’s going on in other parts of the division outside my unit, and it’s really helped me to expand my network.

What is the best advice a mentor has given you in work, life, or beyond?

The best advice I ever got from a mentor is to bring some levity to work and to be easy on myself when the job gets hard. With student-facing work, it’s really easy to take on others’ stress, which gets heavy over time. We used to imagine work as our own version of The Office, which helped us remember to laugh at ourselves sometimes.

What motivates you to do your best work?

I do my best work when I have a healthy work/life balance. I have a lot of hobbies I do outside of work that help me recharge, like climbing and spending time outside, and I try to make sure I have the energy reserves to do the things I love when I leave the office at the end of the day.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

When I was in high school I lived on a military base overseas, and they had a summer work program for teens that allowed me to get a job in the base hospital’s medical readiness office. This basically meant I sat around in the basement all day shredding highly classified documents about combat training and deployment readiness while watching The Saddle Club on TV.

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?

I’m a twin! We’re fraternal and were born a minute apart. She lives in the Bay too because we’re codependent like that.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I’m most looking forward to everyone’s eventual return to campus and being surrounded by the energy and verve that makes it so fun to work at UC Berkeley.