Faculty Spotlight: Kristi Paulson Mingus

The largest student population of any college at Grantham University is found in the College of Arts and Sciences. That college is where you’ll find the Criminal Justice degree programs and Kristi Paulson Mingus. Kristi, who earned her Juris Doctorate from University of Minnesota Law School and her Master’s in Speech Communication from North Dakota State University, has been with Grantham since November 2009.

“I love helping people and find that teaching is a valuable way to share and expand knowledge and the love of learning with others,” Kristi said. “I believe that you never stop learning.”

One thing she truly appreciates about her Grantham students is their willingness to bring their life experiences to the classroom. Whether it’s in Interpersonal Communications or the number of Criminal Justice classes she teaches (including: Introduction to Criminal Justice, Introduction to Criminology, Criminal Justice Ethics, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Advanced Criminal Law and Judicial Process), she always loves her students’ openness and candor with which they share their stories.

“I enjoy the backgrounds and experiences that my students bring to the courses,” she said. “I’ve found that I have yet to leave a course where I haven’t learned something, also.”

Aside from helping change Grantham students’ lives in the classroom, Kristi also serve as Chair of the Criminal Justice Advisory Board. In this role she assists with redesigning current courses and is playing an instrumental part in creating future associate and baccalaureate degrees in Paralegal Studies.

Tina Freestone, Department Chair for Criminal Justice, had this to say about Kristi, “Kristi knows how to challenge and motivate her students with a firm yet gentle approach. She combines these capabilities to effectively teach a highly diverse group of adult learners with significant positive impacts on student retention.”

Kristi lives in Burnsville, Minn., with her husband, Paul, and two children, Christopher and Brynne. She owns her own law firm, where she is a trial lawyer specializing in personal injury litigation, and has a four-legged “legal/teaching assistant,” Fletcher the Golden Retriever. In her downtime, she loves boating with her family and is starting to explore jewelry making.