Baltimore Collegetown Network
As Baltimore Collegetown Network’s executive director, Kirsten Brinlee’s job is all about building relationships. She oversees initiatives and programs designed to get outstanding students to come to Baltimore for their higher education needs.
Brinlee first joined BCN in 2014 to lead and man- age its civic leadership programs and was named to her current position four years ago. Holding a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Texas, she also serves as an adjunct professor teaching social entrepreneurship and leadership theory with community-based learning to Collegetown Fellows at Johns Hopkins University.
How has your organization and your work changed because of the pandemic?
Baltimore Collegetown works to bring together colleges and universities to attract, engage and retain students. Our work has never been more important as students and their families struggle to navigate higher education in the COVID-19 pandemic. We worked with our members to lead the country in campus reopening plans, vaccine protocols and more. We continue to offer all of our programs virtually and set a record for the number of meetings convened in a single year.
What is the biggest challenge your organization now faces?
Our biggest challenge right now is reconnecting with the students, faculty and staff we’ve missed over the past year and a half. Everyone’s attention has been on surviving the worst of the pandemic. While we are still stepping slowly toward the future, our challenge now becomes how to collectively reimagine a future where we all thrive.