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Kristin Lawson (BA, ’03)

Kristin Lawson owes her career to the love of storytelling. From her childhood days in Barnhart, Missouri, to her current role ensuring the defense of our nation, Kristin never shies away from new adventures. She leans into the stories behind the new places she visits and the new people she meets to strengthen her understanding of the world. Kristin is also fascinated by the power of stories to persuade, leading her to the University of Missouri–St. Louis, where she earned a BA in mass communications in 2003. She says she is especially grateful to Michael Murray, PhD, in the Department of Communications and Media, for recognizing her potential as a communications student and professional.

Kristin Lawson

“Dr. Murray saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself,” she said. “He was a wonderful mentor who expanded my love for all aspects of communications, helping me grow as a student and young adult.“

After graduation, Kristin served as a marketing specialist for a hospice company, leveraging the communication skills she acquired at UMSL to speak with empathy while providing necessary information to medical facilities and patient families. She then moved to a career in the public sector, beginning with the Veterans Administration and continuing with the National Cemetery Administration, where she helped families bury their veterans, spouses, and dependent children in 135 national cemeteries.

“It was a very humbling experience as I was able to hear stories about WWII, Korea and Vietnam,” she said. “I was enamored because never again will you hear those kinds of stories and the magic behind them.”

From the National Cemetery Administration, she moved into her current role as a Special Agent with the Defense Counterintelligence & Security Agency under the U.S. Department of Defense. Kristin says that without her lifelong love of stories and the communication skills acquired through UMSL, she would be unable to extract the information necessary to complete the investigations work that is of critical importance to the security of the federal workforce.