When Kim Kloeppel walked onto UNM’s main campus for the first time as a staff person, she didn’t think that two decades later she would still be at the university, but this time serving as a teacher, inspiration, and role model for the next generation of Lobos.
“I really didn’t know I’d be here this long. But I’ve found that being here on campus, I really love being involved with helping students succeed in classes, and once they go out into the real world after college.”
Kloeppel received her Bachelor’s, Masters and Doctorate degrees from UNM, and in addition to working in the Division of Student Affairs, she’s also active with the UNM Alumni Association.
“Being a three-time alum, I have so much pride in our university, what we do here and the opportunity for students to come here and be happy and feel like they are learning a lot and know what a great value UNM is, I think that’s so important and I don’t know if our alumni know how valuable that is.”
In addition to her work in the Division of Student Affairs and teaching courses on campus, Kloeppel has been a driving force behind the university’s yearly “Be Kind” initiative. While “Be Kind” is officially a week-long event each year, Kloeppel believes that every day is an opportunity to live her values of promoting kindness and caring, and that it’s an opportunity to promote those values at UNM.
“It makes me ‘walk the talk.’ If I’m going to say you should be kind, then I should make sure to be kind as well. It’s something I’ve built into my life and I live it each and every day. It can be a simple as opening the door for somebody, it can be as simple as helping a neighbor bring in their groceries or reach out to a nonprofit organization and offer money or your time to volunteer. But it’s something that can be done each and every day in small ways.
“I think a lot of people believe that it’s not a priority for our students and our university to be kind, but what I’ve found is that as people and their values and interests develop being kind can be so important to their success, as well as important to their community.
“I would love for our university to be known as a kind university. And what a wonderful way for us to be known. Not only for our wonderful academic programs, we’re a Hispanic-service institution as well as a Very High Academic Research University. So those are two wonderful things, but how wonderful would it be to add some kind of kindness, or friendly campus to those designations?”