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Kara Hansel: Relishing the Transylvania Experience

Kara Hansel“I am a very social person and love to get involved with people and programs. With the campus being so small, it seemed almost impossible to float under the radar and not get involved.”

Until she took her first painting class with art professor Jack Girard, Kara Hansel ’12 had no intention of majoring in art. Although she had always had a keen interest in the subject, it was Girard’s “passion, knowledge, and charismatic presence” that convinced her she could study a field that really appealed to her—and have fun with it.

Hansel believes that the relationships she built with her Transylvania art professors will continue for a lifetime. “I know I can always go back to my professors for any advice.” As her career unfolds, she expects to lean on them for trusted opinions and support.

She is currently working at the Lexington Art League as the visitor services assistant, a job she landed after an internship there her senior year. “I thought it was a good stepping stone for me, and hopefully has the potential to open new doors and opportunities.” Hansel is also considering going back to school for a master’s in teaching.

Initially Hansel was dubious about the value of a liberal arts program that requires students to take classes in a variety of subjects. However, she soon discovered that “classes outside of my major influenced the work I was doing in my studio classes. I find myself able to contribute to conversations knowledgeably. It really helps your ability to network with people. The atmosphere of the liberal arts school made me excited about learning all that I could.”

Hansel was recruited to play soccer at Transylvania, and she was a goalkeeper for the team all four years. She also was an active member of Chi Omega sorority. “Staying involved allowed me to develop so many qualities: time management—how to juggle a crazy schedule while at the same time accomplishing my goals and meeting deadlines; leadership; and something that is many times underrated, accountability. I have lifelong friends from every area I was involved in—the art program, the athletics program, and the Greek community.

“Transylvania provided me with such an enriching experience. Many of my friends tell me they are so excited that they finally got through college and graduated. I wish just the opposite. I wish I could do it, exactly the same, all over again.”

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