Karen Jensen '08

"Where I am currently in my life is a direct result from my personal and professional learning and growth as a major of the Theatre/Dance Department at Luther College. Through gaining first hand experience at somatic-based experiential education through the Theatre/Dance Department, I not only learned about my potential as a creative being in any given situation, I also gained tools around how to consciously and authentically connect and develop trusting relationships in various contexts.

"Currently, I am a graduate student at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado in the process of receiving a Master of Arts in Somatic Counseling Psychology with plans to become a licensed professional counselor. Along with training to become a therapist, I am also a liaison between my peers and the leadership team in order to best support students and continue the development of this program to serve its students to the best of it's ability. I am also a co-director of the 2013 Somatic Arts Scholarship Concert. This concert explores the interface of creative processes and therapeutic training where students in the somatic counseling psychology program create embodied performance art pieces in order to connect with the greater community.

"Before attending graduate school I provided two years of service through AmeriCorps in Oregon. During my second year as an AmeriCorps member I provided an experiential, body-based workshop to the community around listening to one's self in order to connect with how they want to give back to the world. Also during this time I received a Jury’s Choice award at the National Northwest Service Symposium for creating a live performance art piece titled “Loss” around the importance of service to one's community.

"Being an AmeriCorps member, in conjunction with what I learned as a graduate from the Theatre/Dance Department at Luther College, helped me realize my commitment to my own personal and professional growth as well as showed me how my life purpose is directly related to supporting individuals, families, and communities to continue to developmentally grow and change in order to best serve oneself and one's community."