Alumni Tale: Kris Bowden ’02

What did you study at UNH?

What were you doing 1 year out of college?

One year out of college, I was working full time at Measured Progress, in Dover, New Hampshire, grading math and science standardized tests for children of all ages at schools across the country.

What were you doing 5 years out of college?

In 2007, my daughter was 3.5 years old. In addition to taking care of her, and going to developmentally appropriate playgrounds throughout the Seacoast and playgroups at Families First, she and I were coming to the end of a year of volunteering every week at the Kittery (Maine) Family Resource Center, as the place sadly closed. We helped with various children’s classes, including Messy Art, Weekly Arts & Crafts, Cooking with Kids, Fun Science and more.

That fall, I took a position as a mixed-age Waldorf kindergarten assistant at what was then called Tidewater School and is now named the Seacoast Waldorf School located in Eliot, Maine. I primarily cooked with the children, with a different theme each day, including bread baking, oatmeal, soup from scratch, rice with cheese and chutney, and pancakes. We also spent extensive amounts of time outdoors in all weather conditions. I worked at Tidewater Monday-Friday, then brought one of the other children home with me to nanny an additional 22 hours per week.

What were you doing 10 years out of college?

In 2012 I had been volunteering at a local non-profit radio station, WXGR for a year. The team I worked with at WXGR built an online streaming radio station for the band Thievery Corporation, along with their record label, ESL Music, and I was part of the crew that traveled around the country managing the live broadcast of concerts as well as the associated promotional social media.

Having never been in media, I learned a lot of skills that have helped me tremendously in my career, including marketing, social media marketing, web editing and development (in many platforms), html basics, photoshop and design basics, as well as event promotion and management.

I had also recently started my own social media marketing business, called Social Guru, which grew with new clients nearly every month.

What are you doing now?

I am thrilled to now be working at the University of New Hampshire in the Communications and Public Affairs office, mostly managing the UNH Alumni social media. It has been my dream since graduating to work on campus, and I couldn’t be happier. I get to use all my skills from my degree, mixed with what I have been learning since 2011 to benefit my beloved alma mater.

Did you have an international experience (study, research, internship or volunteer abroad) while at UNH?

I consider myself very lucky to have spent a semester in London at Regent’s College, studying things like “Roman Britain,” “London Classical Music Scene,” and traveling both for classes and for fun. It was an amazing experience, albeit difficult at times to navigate the intense newly formed relationships that had to end, or at least be reshaped, so quickly. I learned a lot, I loved a lot, I found a new home. I have been back twice, and plan to bring my daughter this fall to see the school and the city, as it is her dream to both study in London, and eventually move there. Maybe she will bring me!

How do you feel your time at UNH has had an impact on where you are today?

My time at UNH has given me skills that have benefited me in all areas of my life, from personal development to family and relationships, and professionally.

Why do you believe in UNH?

I see the changes that have occurred on campus. The updates in buildings like Kingsbury, McConnell/Paul, the Rec Center, and now Ham Smith, even since I graduated only 15 years ago. When I arrived as a non-traditional first-year student January, ’96, the MUB had just been renovated and as I was wrapping up my experience, the Dimond Library underwent a complete overhaul. Now with things like the ECenter, students have even more support and opportunities than ever before. Student organizations are flourishing. I see interns all over the seacoast and read stories of them all over the world. Alumni are thriving, with networks across the country. I see a campus supporting students, alumni, faculty, and staff and it makes me wake up every day with a smile and intention in my heart to live up to what I see around me. I do believe in UNH.