Junior Eden Kreighbaum is heavily involved in the Drake community, so you may be surprised to know that Drake wasn’t Kreighbaum’s first college destination.
During her first semester at the Colorado School of Mines, she felt like something was missing. Although she was able to fully concentrate on her academic field of choice, she missed having a well-rounded curriculum that honed skills like reading and writing.
“I really liked math in high school, so I thought engineering would be a good idea,” Kreighbaum said. “But then I went to a school where only engineers went. It’s all math and applied science. It was just not my cup of tea. I wanted to go somewhere where I’d be surrounded by lots of different people.”
So Kreighbaum transferred to Drake for the second half of her first year, and she wasted no time immersing herself.
She is a member of the professional fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, a member of the social sorority Alpha Phi—which she joined at her first school—played volleyball on a club team for two semesters and is president of the group I Am That Girl, a nonprofit group affiliated with a national organization that supports young women through honest conversations. She kick-started the local chapter herself.
I Am That Girl began after Kreighbaum picked up the organization’s book the summer after her first year of college. Inspired, she applied to start her own chapter on Drake’s campus, and the group has been up and running for almost two years. The meetings are discussion-based, and Kreighbaum said they plan to touch on topics like the Me Too and Time’s Up movements and what it means to be a woman on Drake’s campus.
One of her greatest interests is her major: accounting.
“You can do so much with accounting,” Kreighbaum said. “I really like problem solving and digging into things. Also, if we’re going to be honest, I really like making sure people follow the rules. That’s basically what an auditor does.”
Kreighbaum notes that as a woman, she feels she has a certain responsibility as she enters the professional world of accounting—in particular, as she shoots for her goal of becoming a partner, which is a male-dominated position. She looks to strong female role models who have impacted her throughout her life.
“I feel really strongly about educating young girls in math and technical fields,” Kreighbaum said. “My grandma was an educator and she encouraged me all throughout grade school, because most girls stop liking math when they’re in middle school because it’s not cool . . . she said I’m not allowed to do that. Everyone should feel safe about what they want to like in school.”
Kreighbaum is from Kansas City, Missouri—specifically the Prairie Village area—where she lives with her mom, dad, little sister and two Beagles named Ruby and Chance. In her free time, she enjoys running and listening to music. Her three favorite artists are Arcade Fire, the Avett Brothers and Ben Folds.
Kreighbaum feels very much at home here at Drake. Though her college path wasn’t always so straightforward, she is grateful to have ended up here.
“I know I’m going to be the person dressing their children in Drake gear,” Kreighbaum said. “I’ve always wanted to be a fan of my college growing up, because my family doesn’t really care about sports or colleges or anything. I love Drake. I’m obsessed with Drake.”