Q&A with 2024 graduate Alexia Kryszewski, one of just 104 PTK New Century Scholars in the country

Alexia Kryszewski

Alexia Kryszewski, 20, of Battle Creek, graduated from KCC this spring with Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees.

A 2022 graduate of Harper Creek High School, Kryszewski is a familiar face on campus. She was president of the Education Club; an officer in the FriendChip Club, Kampus Activities Board and KCC’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society; a student worker in the Student Life Office and Lifelong Learning Department; and a member of the women’s cross-country team.

An honors student at KCC, Kryszewski is a KCC Foundation Gold Key Scholar who was recently awarded the Foundation’s prestigious Virginia M. Hensley Education or Health Care Two-Year Transfer Scholarship. This spring she was named to the PTK All-Michigan Academic Team and was honored as a PTK New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar – one of just 104 New Century Scholars in the country and the only New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar in Michigan.

Why did you choose your major/area of study?

My original area of study was secondary education for mathematics in order to become a high school math teacher. However, my passion shifted gears while here at KCC. I have refined my passion for education, choosing nonprofit and public administration and youth and community development to major in.

This passion was sparked when I assumed a position at a local middle school that allowed me insight into the behind-the-scenes operations of public schools. The barriers in education have layers too complex to blame on one area. Public policy plays a significant role in being able to open up worlds of opportunities to students and staff. The true change agents must be able to work with public policy and have the heart to advocate for and listen to those who are actively giving their valuable time to the system that sets up our community. I hope to be a herald for a sustainable, supporting and ever-improving education system.

Why did you choose to study your major specifically at KCC?

I chose an Associate in Arts and Science because it lays a foundation for me to transfer into my next academic program. It also allowed me to continue exploring and refining my educational goals from a general perspective.

What’s been your favorite part of your time at KCC, and why?

The community has been my favorite part of KCC. I found so many mentors and created lasting friendships that push me to be the best version of myself and see new perspectives.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned at KCC?

The most interesting work I partook in at Kellogg Community College is my research on the education field. My two major research projects surrounding education included how climate change is affecting education, which segued nicely into the next research project, exploring one of the most sustainable public education systems, Iceland. All in all, these projects have taught me that research goes beyond the classroom.

What is your goal for after you graduate from KCC? What do you hope to do for a career?

My ultimate goal in academia is to visit various international education systems and write a dissertation on how cultures and structures impact their quality of life and education. Kindling that concept is my time spent in the Honors and International Travel programs at Kellogg Community College, where I am currently studying Iceland’s education system and going to experience Icelandic culture.

My ultimate career goal is to pull a “Ron Clark” and design a school structure that encourages, as Brené Brown would say, a “daring classroom.” Going to school and learning are not the same. One of my aspirations as an educator, lifelong learner and leader is to meld those concepts for students.

The culture surrounding education has deteriorated. Society must elevate education, not alleviate it due to lack of support, funding and new technology. I want to continue to pursue careers that spark change and build educational programs for youth and community workers. I have a great start with working in higher education as a student worker in Student Life and Lifelong Learning.

What advice do you have for current or future KCC students?

My advice to KCC students is to be unafraid of being unapologetically yourself when asking questions, building connections and creating opportunity. When you let your passions guide you the rest will fall into place. When you don’t know where to start, start anywhere and keep going.

An excerpt of this Q&A will appear in the June 2024 edition of BruIN magazine. To read the issue online when published, please visit kellogg.edu/bruinmagazine.