Alumni: They’re what makes Fontbonne what it is today. The graduates have dedicated countless hours to make a future for themselves and the university. Have you ever wondered, where are they now? One alumna in particular made a huge impact on Fontbonne Athletics and graduated with honors from the Special Education program.
Kersten McDonough graduated in December of 2017 with her special education degree. “I knew that I always wanted to major in special education” said McDonough. “I was anxious to get in the classroom because I knew that my presence would impact the students’ lives forever.”
Even when she was a first year student at UMSL, she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her future. For her sophomore year, McDonough was looking for smaller class sizes along with an offer to play volleyball. She eventually found Fontbonne, and it was a perfect match.
McDonough fell in love with the small campus and lived there the entire time she was at Fontbonne. “I loved being close to all of my classes and professors. It was so convenient to live on campus, I knew that if I ever needed help with any classwork or had questions, I could use my resources on campus.” She was always found in DSAC, either grabbing a bite to eat at the Griffin Grill or utilizing the weight room. McDonough spent countless hours in the gym, looking to play volleyball and spend time with her team. She played three years of volleyball at Fontbonne and will be remembered as a crucial asset to the program’s history.
Volleyball played a huge role in McDonough’s life. On and off the court, she was a great teammate. Her dedication to the sport was noticed on the court due to the records that she broke and that she still holds. During her time at Fontbonne, McDonough broke the kill record, attack record, and achieved 1,000 career kills in three years.
McDonough stood out in the classroom as well. During her three years at Fontbonne, she was named to the Dean’s List three times, was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and graduated with honors. She took her academics seriously and always wanted to better herself in the Department of Education and Special Education. McDonough said that her favorite class during her academic career was Children’s Literature, and her favorite professor was Andra Gwydir.
Where is she now? McDonough currently teachers at Riverbend School in Pacific, Missouri. She teaches eighth grade special education and has had an amazing experience. She has expressed how Fontbonne prepared her for being an instructor in the classroom. McDonough still has a love for the game of volleyball, and she coaches the varsity women’s team at Pacific High School.
McDonough also wanted to share her words of wisdom with the current students at Fontbonne: “Be sure to use the resources that are provided for you. As a student, you have so many options and benefits. Whether you need help with writing a paper or you can’t figure out a math problem, Fontbonne has the resources to help its students succeed. If you’re a student athlete, be sure to utilize the facility and the athletic trainers; they’re there for your benefit.”
Former students like Kersten McDonough wear the Fontbonne University logo with pride. She is just one of many students that have had their lives changed by this university. Each and every member of the alumni community has impacted Fontbonne in a different way, and they’re what strengthens the tight knit community.
In McDonough’s words: “I will always thank Fontbonne for putting me first and helping me succeed, so I could have a bright future and do what I love for the rest of my life.”