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Kristen Davenport, A12

Recipient: Financial aid supported by the Tufts Fund

On Kristen Davenport’s, A12, first day at Tufts, she didn’t have time to be nervous—the farm girl with a pet goat named Charisma had not only just wrapped up working the state fair and a summer internship, she had also just beat out 33 other girls to become the New York State Dairy Princess. With only a day to pack and get herself to the Hill, Davenport says “it was wild” but she’s used to diving into experiences head first—and keeping busy.

“It’s sort of been a trend in my life,” she says. From Leonard Carmichael Society tutoring to late nights with her biochemistry books; from playing piccolo and “crashing cymbals here and there” in pep band to giving campus tours; from applying to work in Facilities (“I missed mulching”) to making friends who constantly surprise and educate her (“like learning how to keep a Kosher kitchen”), “Kristen is perpetually in motion,” says Mitch McVey, associate professor of biology and Davenport’s advisor. “She approaches each of her experiences as a unique learning opportunity and embraces diversity.”

Davenport has given her all these past four years because it’s her nature and, says the future D.V.M. and microbiologist, because she was given a gift. “Being at Tufts surrounded by people your age but with totally different backgrounds,” she says, “that’s just a huge learning opportunity, and I think we need to make sure that everybody who deserves it can get their hands on it.”