Staff Spotlight: Koren Bakkegard

Describe briefly what you do and how long you have been at Brown.

I arrived at Brown on August 1, 2019 -- seven months before the transition to remote learning -- and I have the great pleasure of working most closely with the staff in the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, Residential Life, the Student Activities Office, and Student Support Services. 

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

When I was the Assistant Dean of Freshmen at Stanford, I was the point person for trans students entering the University. I worked with the students and partner offices to ensure that their housing assignments, ID cards, nametags, and the other details of their arrival would demonstrate that we were paying attention to their needs. It was tangible work that I knew made a difference for students’ sense of belonging. A senior once approached me in the Faculty Club and said that we had spoken by phone four years earlier when they were an admitted student and that our conversation convinced them to come to Stanford where they had enjoyed a deeply rewarding experience. 

What work projects most excite you?

I love collaborative work with students and colleagues to create things that improve students’ experience (and are not merely reactive). 

What are your home office must-haves?

The wildlife outside my window. Namely, the pair of robins that hatched their four chicks in the nest outside my “office” (aka Dining Room) and the scurry of chipmunks (all named “Cupcake”) who have tunneled throughout our yard. (Also the highlighter bright goldfinch, balding cardinal, and stunning Northern Flicker who empties the bird feeder every day.)

Name something about you most people don't know.

I (almost) always listen to the 2014 Detroit Symphony Orchestra recording of “Appalachian Spring” conducted by Leonard Slatkin when I am writing. And, provided that I am in a clover field, on a beach, or in Maine, I am unusually lucky at finding 4-leaf clovers, sea glass, and moose (respectively). 

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?

Following the Indigo Girls on tour, waiting tables at Nepenthe in Big Sur, or repairing wilderness trails with a team of mules. I would also like to be the proprietor of a tiny grocery store that sells capers in a remote coastal town or apprentice to make stained glass and calligraphy to sell at the Southern Highland Craft Guild, Folk Art Center located at Milepost 382 on the Blue RIdge Parkway. (It is a bad sign that I have so many answers to this question?)