Alumni HDFS

Sharing the Spotlight

Athlete and scholar Krista Stengl was inspired by her professor and mentor Kate MacTavish. “She’s passionate about what she teaches and she cares about students.”

“She is passionate about what she teaches…she cares a lot about students and really wants to help them develop and succeed,” says Krista Stengl of Dr. Kate MacTavish, her mentor and professor in human development and family sciences. 

Earlier this spring, Krista, a fifth-year senior on the cross country and track team, was honored for her 4.0 grade point average at the OSU Athletic Department Annual Everyday Champions Academic Achievement Dinner and she chose Kate MacTavish to be recognized for her commitment to student success.

“Dr. MacTavish has been a great mentor and professor for me,” says Krista. “The courses I took from her were two of the best classes that I have taken at OSU, and I believe that this is because she really makes the course material relevant and meaningful to students. I still remember class discussions and books that I read for HDFS 431 two years ago- and I think that says a lot! She is passionate about what she teaches and also makes it engaging and interesting by tying in her own experiences and research. I also had the opportunity to be a peer mentor for Dr. MacTavish’s HDFS freshmen LinC course this past fall and winter, and I really enjoyed that experience. She cares a lot about students and really wants to help them develop and succeed.”

running trough oregon state campus
Krista (r) and Kate share a passion for distance running that means their paths crossed often on early morning runs.

The admiration is reciprocated. “Over these last three years I have had the pleasure of watching Krista develop as a student, an athlete, and future professional,” says Kate, an associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. “I have come to know her as a competent and compassionate young woman with a strong motivation to work toward her dreams and the dedication to make those dreams come true. It was a great honor to see her receive this award.”

“Even before I met her, I had heard of Krista’s promise as an athlete and a scholar. Krista comes from the small town of Enterprise in the Northeastern corner of Oregon. I have research and teaching connections in the area that often bring me into contact with community and school leaders,” explains Kate. “When Krista decided to come to OSU as a runner and a student in our department, they let me know about her. After meeting Krista, I quickly understood why her hometown would hold her in such high regard! As a student, Krista is clearly among the strongest in our program. I have known of only two other students who maintained a 4.0 during their time at OSU and she has done this as a student-athlete!”

Kate MacTavish and Krista Stengl

Krista graduated in June with a degree in human development and family sciences and a minor in psychology, and she left OSU with great memories. 

“I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to run cross country and track at OSU while earning my degree. My coaches and the whole athletic department really care about us as students as well as athletes, and they are really committed to helping us develop and succeed in sports, school, and life.”  And she adds, “I was really happy that Dr. MacTavish was able to attend the event with me. It meant a lot that she took the time to come, and I appreciate all of her support and all that she does!