Klingler College of Arts and Sciences Recipients
Young Alumna of the Year Award
KATHLEEN L. KRANINGER, ARTS '97
Kathy has made it her mission to keep America safe.
For more than a decade, she has held various homeland security posts in Washington, D.C., including serving as the first director of the Office of Screening Coordination for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Now she’s the minority clerk for the U.S. Senate’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
“I am motivated by the opportunity to fix problems and make things better for those who have critical and challenging jobs in homeland security,” she says. “My work has been incredibly rewarding and enjoyable in that respect.”
Kathy came to Marquette to study political science and history and earned her certification to teach high school social studies. Then she taught in Ukraine as a Peace Corps volunteer, which turned out to be an unexpected “in” into the political field.
“My first political job came from a Ukrainian American who only interviewed me because he wanted to hear what was happening in his homeland,” she says. She eventually joined the U.S. Department of Transportation as a policy adviser before moving into the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Along the way, she earned her law degree from Georgetown University.
Whatever her role, she gives it her all. “The Jesuit concept of magis is something that always resonated with me — while we don’t always achieve the goals, we have to be seeking ‘the more’ in all that we do and who we are trying to be,” she says.
When she’s not at the office, she is busy renovating her 1878 row house on Capitol Hill and has volunteered with an after-care program for preschoolers supported by the Junior League of Washington.
“I find public service very rewarding, so I expect that I will be in Washington for a long time,” she says.
Hometown: Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Favorite quote: From the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Dream dinner guest: Pope Francis
Marquette faculty members who had an impact: “I had a number of quality professors and great interaction with student affairs and alumni relations staff during my time at Marquette. But the Jesuit philosophy and spirit, particularly embodied in Fathers Wild, Naus and Thon, made Marquette a truly wonderful place to live and grow.”
Favorite Marquette memories: “There are so many – Greek Olympics weekends in April that always seemed to have snow; the trek to the Bradley Center for Marquette basketball games; everyone I met and everything I learned as director of New Student Orientation.”
Most influential people: “I can’t choose between my parents, so I’ll have to say both of them together. By their example, they have shown me what it means to love, to serve, to live life to the fullest and to be open to God’s will.”