Meet Kara Janowski: Director of Student Engagement (Office of Student Success)

What do truffle popcorn, Mount Kaukau, lavender syrup, dinner for 30, and jump school have in common? Keep reading to find out—and learn more about this United States Air Force Academy graduate and two-year veteran of Concordia University Wisconsin!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Feeling stressed or down? “Just add water”—drink water, take a shower or bath, go look at or sit by water, listen to water sounds, and of course, turn to Jesus, the Water of Life. Water always helps!

What’s the weirdest food combination you enjoy?

Truffle popcorn and dark chocolate! I don’t think it is that weird, though … delicious!

Have you ever had a “close call” misadventure?

Yes! I attended “jump school” as part of my Air Force training and just couldn’t help but do multiple back flips out of the plane (instead of maintaining an arch posture) each time I jumped. On my third jump, I pulled my parachute with my back towards the earth while in free fall. Luckily, my parachute deployed just fine and I had a great landing. Big shoulder bruises though!!!  

What is your current favorite song and why?

“The Middle” by Grey, Maren Morris, and Zedd—because my 5-year-old daughter loves it and we love to just belt it out together with pretend microphones as we dance around the house! I am also thinking one day this song might be helpful if I reference it during her teenage years … (check out the lyrics 😊).

What is your favorite hobby?

Anything coffee related. Right now: making simple syrups to use when making lattes at home (lavender, coconut, butterscotch, and chocolate orange are a few current faves).

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited?

New Zealand. I spent my childhood there from ages 1-12 and absolutely loved exploring the rolling green hills filled with sheep. My “happy place” is at the top of Mount Kaukau, enjoying stunning views of the city of Wellington, the sparkling harbor, and on a clear day, you can see all the way to the south island. If you ever plan to visit and need travel tips, I am your girl!

What is your best work memory?

Cooking dinner for ~30 crew leaders and staff in the Regents tiny kitchen, sharing the stove with CMLT student leaders who were also cooking a meal for their large group. They had the stove top while I used the oven, we really maximized the space during our culinary adventures together, and we improvised creatively with very limited kitchen utensils and supplies!

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