Conversing with a coordinator: Kristin Osipower

New Interfaith Coordinator discusses goals, projects

Cabrini Rudnicki, Staff Writer

Wilkes University’s Interfaith Coordinator is one of the newest members on campus. Bright-eyed and optimistic, Kristin Osipower serves as the student body’s resource for faith exploration.

“College allows people to explore new ideas, including religion,” Osipower said. Students interested in learning about different religions and spiritualities can visit Osipower and have an open discussion.

Osipower fosters a no-judgment zone that can be helpful for students looking to explore themselves, she said. Afterward, students can then be linked up to different organizations to further their religious exploration.

“I want to ensure all religious beliefs on campus are represented and treated equal,” Osipower said.

Osipower has degrees in English and European History from Lafayette College. She used to work at the administration office at Wilkes before taking time off for her pregnancy. She eventually went on to have four children. Before her youngest turned 5, she was a stay-at-home mom. However, during this time, Osipower found joy in volunteering at places such as her children’s school and at church.

“It was like divine intervention,” she said. “I found my calling and what makes me the happiest.”

Osipower came back to work at Wilkes this semester as the new Interfaith Coordinator, which was perfect for her interests, she said.

“The first semester is dedicated to understanding Wilkes culture,” Osipower said. However, she also has big ideas for the future.

She has plans to have multi-faith services on campus, which will be a time for all different religions to worship, without leaning toward one religion or another. She also intends to have open discussions between faiths, and community service projects that tie into religion.

“I want to show that it’s OK to have motivation through spiritual beliefs,” she explained.

To aid this, she intends to bring guest speakers on campus to discuss religious topics, share how they got involved and how they were inspired by their own religion.

A recent project that Osipower started is “Colonel’s Closet,” the Wilkes food pantry. Open to both residential and commuter students of all faiths, the Colonel’s Closet seeks to get rid of the under-discussed issue of hunger on campus.

Wilkes University is located in a “food desert,” meaning, there is not a grocery store in walking distance, which makes it difficult to get substantial food. The food pantry is open to any donations of food or drinks that would be easy for a college student to make.

Anyone interested in learning more about different faiths, sharing new ideas or donating to the Colonel Closet can visit Osipower in room 202 on the second floor of the SUB.