Kristin Waters


What was your class year and major/minor?

I graduated in the class of 1989, and was an English major and Art History minor.

What is your current job, and city of residence?

I live in Cincinnati, Ohio where I am the co-founder and vice president of Project Blue Collar, a company that helps connect rescue dogs with non-kill shelters and helps connect them with future owners.

Did your academic or extracurricular experience at Bowdoin influence how you are involved in communities now? If yes, how so?

There wasn’t a specific academic or extracurricular experience that sparked my interest in public service, rather it was the widespread sense of community I experienced at Bowdoin that made me interested in serving the common good post-graduation. This strong sense of community I felt during my time at Bowdoin was shared by my peers; as 95% of us had given back to the college in some way by the time of our 25th reunion.

In what ways have you been engaged with the community since graduating from Bowdoin (both professionally and personally)?

I’ve volunteered with an animal rescue shelter, an animal therapy center, and have worked with the mentally disabled in the Santa Barbara community. As alumni coordinator for my high school, I organized an alumni involvement with a food shelter in the area of our high school.

The majority of my work has been involved with getting rescue dogs connected with loving owners, which has indirectly spared thousands of dogs from being put down in kill shelters.

What's been your favorite or most meaningful experience in public service since you graduated?

I have loved knowing that I’ve been involved with starting programs that have taken off to be very successful. One such program is the alumni day at the no kill shelter. This program gives the opportunity for owners of dogs that were rescued by the no-kill shelter to return with their dogs and meet with the other dog-owners of dogs from the shelter. The event was extremely successful this year, as over 400 owners came back to the shelter for the event.

Have any unexpected challenges or difficulties related to this work popped up along the way? If so, what did you learn from these challenges?

There are so many more dogs I wish I could help. One of the biggest challenges I face is coming to terms with the fact that I can’t save them all. You need to know when you’ve given it your all, and be happy with that. Because this is an issue I’m passionate about, it’s easy for that passion to interfere with coming to terms with not being able to save them all.

What advice do you have for students who want to work for the common good after Bowdoin?

If you can’t get a job in public service right after graduating, I encourage you to go into a related field that you’re interested in. You’ll end up using the skills and experiences from that job to get the job you want in public service, and to work effectively in it.