Clemson career center’s Walker honored as ‘rising star’ by national group

Walker was honored with an Award for Excellence from the board of trustees from Chairman Smyth McKissick (left) and President James P. Clements in February.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

CLEMSON — The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has named Kristin Walker of Clemson University’s Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) its 2018 recipient of the Spelman Johnson Rising Star Award. The award recognition will take place at the NACE Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 7.

The Rising Star Award — which includes $1,500 and an accompanying trophy — recognizes one individual each year who has demonstrates strong leadership potential and contributions to the career services profession and NACE organization.

“Kristin continues to receive a lot of positive press in career circles,” said career center Executive Director Neil Burton. “This is one of the highest honors conferred by our national organization and we are glad to see her recognized for the great work she’s doing at Clemson.”

Walker has received numerous accolades for her work as CCPD’s associate director for analytics and initiatives. She received the Women in Higher Education Achievement Award from the National Panhellenic Council in September 2017, was elected to the board for the Southern Association of College Student Affairs in November and was named one of the employees of the year in the Division of Student Affairs in December. In February 2018, she received an Award for Excellence from the Clemson University board of trustees.

“This year has been a humbling one I will cherish,” she said. “To be recognized by NACE absolutely took me by surprise. You don’t get involved to be recognized; you get involved in hopes of giving back and making a difference that will ultimately benefit all students. I only hope to be able to continue to give back to our profession.”

Walker has played a leading role in the nation’s No. 1 career services program as ranked in the most recent edition of The Princeton Review. She oversees CCPD’s data collection, management, analysis and reporting to drive the center’s strategic planning. Recently, Walker championed the center and university’s core competency initiative and developed curriculum for the Competency Symposium hosted by Clemson in May 2017. She is serving in a similar role for the 2018 symposium.

Walker earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Radford University in 2003, as well as a master’s in counselor education (2012) and doctorate in educational leadership (2015) from Clemson. She was a high school teacher before enrolling in graduate school at Clemson.

She credits her colleagues across the board for this latest accolade.

“I have the best colleagues within CCPD, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs,” she said. “What is really catching national attention is how departments at Clemson are embracing the core competencies and integrating them into the already great work being done. This award is about Clemson leading the conversation and being a rising star.”