Former RC and proud UD alumna Katrine Christensen walked onto the mall as a legacy student, and now she walks as a legend. While many of us know her – some more than others – for her no-nonsense approach to being an RC, she also holds a dear love for the arts and, of course, a deep admiration for UD.
Born and raised in a small town in southern Alabama, Katrine Christensen says that choosing the University of Dallas “was pretty much the natural conclusion” for her, as her mother, two older sisters, and many others in her extended family had received their education from UD. Though she started her UD career as a philosophy major, she yearned for the theater.
“I was pretty much always a theater kid,” she said. “[I started] out in children’s theater when I was only 4 and continuing even as an RC.” This love for theater inspired her to soon switch paths, becoming a drama major with a concentration in Italian. After obtaining her BA in 2020 she went on to pursue an MBA from UD while overseas, which she obtained this spring.
Christensen looks back fondly at her time spent as a UD student, cherishing both the academic moments as well as the goofy ones. One of her favorite UD memories on the Irving campus was running the Jurassic Park themed Charity Week when Christensen and her friends arrested former UD president Dr. Thomas Hibbs sporting blow-up dinosaur suits. One of her highlights during her Rome semester was traveling to Denmark, where she saw her parents’ old house and accidentally saw the Danish queen! “That was quite the brag when we got back to campus after the long weekend,” she said.
Her own Rome experience in part led her to serve as a Rome Coordinator on the Due Santi campus for the past two years. As she recognized the hard work and dedication of her own RC’s during her semester abroad, she said “that really motivated me to do the same for my students.”
Serving as an RC also gave her opportunity to delve into her favorite hobby: photography. She enjoyed capturing the students’ special moments, especially the funny moments of Rome. “Getting silly pictures was great fun to tease students with,” Christensen said.
However, Christensen’s favorite part of being an RC was the students. “Seeing how excited students were reignited my love over and over again for places I had gotten used to,” she said, “I’m very honored to have been there for so many students’ highs, lows and in-betweens.”
Her best advice for those planning on attending a Rome semester to make sure you are going for your own personal growth. “It’s great fun to travel with your friends,” she said, “but if you don’t have a real reason to go, go somewhere you actually want to go!”
As for tackling Irving, Christensen encourages all students to take advantage of the DART and to explore Dallas as one would Rome. While there are obvious differences between Irving and Rome, there is also a world of culture here that can be experienced.
Christensen’s selfless and enthusiastic service as an RC has made a mark on the hearts of the current upperclassmen, who remember her from their own Rome semesters. As a recent graduate herself, she is grateful to have had the opportunity to experience Rome both as an undergraduate as well as an RC, giving back to the program that she feels gave so much to her.