Meet Kristina Phillips, November’s Staff Member of the Month

Kristina Phillips

Kristina Phillips, associate director of college programs in the Division of Outreach and Continuing Education, has been named Staff Council’s Staff Member of the Month for November. To help us get to know her better, she answered some questions for Inside Ole Miss. 

IOM: How long have you worked at Ole Miss? 

Phillips: I’ve been a UM staff member since July 2012.

IOM: What is your hometown? 

Phillips: Magnolia, Mississippi 

IOM: Talk about your favorite Ole Miss memory. 

Phillips: One of my favorite Ole Miss memories is collaborating with the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement to take a group of students to Washington, D.C., for professional and cultural exploration. We spent an extended weekend in D.C. to meet with UM alumni, visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and to visit other significant cultural sites.

A UM alum worked for Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and we just found out last week that our photo with her is blown up on the wall of BusBoys and Poets. The restaurant and bookstore intentionally focuses on social change and community connections.

This trip helped me connect several students to the programs I work with in Outreach, the UM Internship Experience and Study USA, so that was an added bonus.

IOM: What do you enjoy most about your position or the department in which you work? 

Phillips: I enjoy helping students expand their cultural lenses through experiential learning. I’m from a small town in south Mississippi, so I didn’t have many experiences to engage with cultures outside of Mississippi until I became an adult.

The programs in the Office of College Program give me the opportunity to facilitate these unique and impactful experiences that have a profound impact on student success, professional development and intercultural competence.

IOM: What do you like to do when you are not at work? 

Phillips: I enjoy serving my community through Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and The Links Inc. I also enjoy traveling with my family and trying top-rated restaurants at our destination.

IOM: What is one thing on your bucket list? 

Phillips: I’ve been begging my husband to take me to Paris, France. I hope to do that in the next couple of years.

IOM: What is your favorite movie? 

Phillips: “Coach Carter,” because he and my dad have a close childhood connection where they actually grew up together. I got to know about his story and the movie before it was available to the public, so this movie holds special memories for me and my family.

IOM: What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition? 

Phillips: The Ole Miss Black Alumni reunion is one of my favorite Ole Miss traditions because it connects the inspirational stories of people who’ve overcome many challenges to become successful UM alumni. It’s like a family reunion.

IOM: What is a fun fact about you?

Phillips: I’ve seen Beyonce in concert twice, and I want to go again the next time she’s on tour.

IOM: If you could have lunch with anyone alive or dead/fictional or real, who would it be and why?

Phillips: I would have lunch with Wilbert Phillips Sr., my father-in-law who passed away before I met my husband, Tyson. Although I’ve heard many stories about him, I would love to have the chance for me and my son to meet him to learn about his personality and family history.

IOM: What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

Phillips: My Clifton Strengths are deliberative, harmony and relator, and I think this assessment has been very accurate for me.

IOM: If you could visit one time or place in world history – past, present, or future – what would it be?

Phillips: I want to go to Egypt in about 2500 B.C., so I could see exactly how they built the pyramids.

IOM: If I could be an animal for a day I would be _____ . 

Phillips: I’d be a black panther because they are smart, great swimmers, and they’re native to beautiful environments in Asia and Africa.

To nominate a colleague for Staff Member of the Month, email with the name of the individual you’d like to nominate as well as why you feel that person should be recognized.