The New Girl


Home is where you make it. For me, I’ve made it at Middle Tennessee State University located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Becoming a part of this institution has been worth every grey hair, every tear, every student, every smile… simply put, it’s been worth it all.

My collegiate career began at Jacksonville State University nestled in Jacksonville, Alabama. It was there that my love for Higher Education began. I quickly became involved and realized that my passion was in helping students and their families. I then transferred to The University of Alabama at Birmingham. I was more focused on my academic career and worked as a student assistant on campus. That was when it hit me. I knew what path I was meant to take. I loved being in a collegiate setting. Talking to donors. Helping students make their class schedule. Going to recruiting events. It had Kristen Chapman written all over it. You bet your buttons I was willing to do whatever it took to begin making my mark.

Fast forward to 2011. July 1st, to be exact. That’s when I got the phone call that would change my life. It was my boss offering me the job at MTSU. I’m sure you can guess what happened next, but if you can’t then allow me to elaborate. No air was making its way into my lungs, my eyes were filled with tears, my hands were shaking- it occurred to me that he was still on the phone, so I had to straighten up and fly right. I accepted the position, quit my job a week later, found an apartment and watched my best friends get married the week after, then I was gone. Just like that.

I settled in Murfreesboro while knowing only two people in a town of over 100,000 folks. Needless to say, there was a little bit of stress on my part between moving to another state and leaving all those I loved behind. But, it was thrilling. I am a people person and always have been. Going out and making new friends is what I do best! In college, it was a piece of cake. Why should “the real world” be any different? Well when you’re a young professional, there aren’t any fraternities or sororities you can join. There is no student government. No classes to attend. 

You make it work. I’ve been blessed with amazing coworkers and friends all over the state thanks to my job. I bet that since I made the move up here, I can go to any city in this state and would be able to call a colleague for dinner. I’ve met a wonderful group of women who are alums of my sorority. The duo I knew when I moved has grown into quite the posse.


So when anyone asks me if this is worth it, I look at him or her like they are crazy. This is my dream. I said I would give up everything and go anywhere for it. And look what it landed me. Right where I’m supposed to be. Home. 


Kristen Chapman

Student Affairs - the First Years

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