The Decade Award honors a 2001 alumna for outstanding achievements in her chosen profession. This alumna's daily life reflects the ideals and mission of the College and represents global consciousness and community involvement. The recipient is a role model and leader for younger alumnae and is recognized by her peers.
This year's Decade Award Recipient Kristi Kubista Hovis.
During her time at Saint Ben's, Kristi learned how to "understand the big picture as well as the highly specific details." As an environmental statistician, this is vital to understanding how a small shift in data can mean wide-spread changes in an ecosystem, and how wide-spread changes in an ecosystem can impact a single species. In her personal life, this helps her appreciate the affect that helping a single person can have on an entire community, and vice-versa.
Kristi studied biology and communications at Saint Ben's and then earned two Master's Degrees from Indiana University in 2004, one in environmental and natural resource management and one in agriculture and applied ecology.
Her goal is to lead a Federal Agency in a non-political capacity. This goal has guided her to positions as an environmental statistician for the USDA and a program examiner for the Office of Management and Budget, where she acted as an expert on climate change, renewable energy, and human capital programs.
She lives Alexandria, Virginia, and continues to challenge herself professionally, recently accepting a position as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Rural Business Service Administrator, an organization that creates economic development programs in rural communities. Her position is the highest general service position below a political appointee.
On a personal level, Kristi co-leads a women's group and acts as the Pillar Life Chair for St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill. She also volunteers for Last Chance Animal Rescue, saving animals in danger of euthanization and placing them in loving homes; Suited for Change, providing professional attire for low-income women in the workplace; and Fairfax Releaf, restoring urban forests in Northern Virginia.
Kristi credits Saint Ben's and its professors with her ability to think critically and ask questions, and believes her college experience and interaction with Sisters Janice Wedl and Katherine Kraft have been an integral part of who she is today.