Kathryn Ayers Wickenhauser ’11 Receives Kappa Alpha Theta’s 35 Under 35 Award: Alumni Q&A
Kathryn Ayers Wickenhauser ’11 (KAѲ) of St. Louis, Missouri, has been awarded a place on Kappa Alpha Theta’s 35 Under 35 list. The national award, new this year, recognizes young alumnae of Kappa Alpha Theta for their accomplishments and for embodying the values of the fraternity.
“In just 7 short years, Kathryn has cemented her position as a leader in healthcare regulatory compliance,” read the announcement on Facebook. “She is a sought after speaker, author, trainer, consultant and thought leader on modern healthcare challenges facing organizations nationwide. With a passion for assisting providers through healthcare reform hurdles, she’s coached more than 3,000 providers to earn in excess of $45 million in government healthcare incentives and avoid more than $20 million in costly financial penalties.”
While completing her major in biopsychology at Westminster, Kathryn was also heavily involved as a campus leader, with Student Ambassadors, Student Foundation, Blue Blazers Investment Committee, Panhellenic Council, Freshman Mentors, and Psi Chi. After graduating, she went on to earn an MBA from Webster University and has continued her education with post-graduate non-degree seeking coursework in Healthcare Informatics from Columbia University. She now works as a regulatory compliance advisor at DataFile Technologies.
Read a Q&A with Kathryn below.
Describe your current position.
I work for a wonderful health information management company which helps healthcare providers and organizations remain focused on patient care rather than administrative tasks. I ensure we remain compliant with industry standards like HIPAA and assist our clients with new regulatory measures like Pay-for-Performance programs. I serve as a thought-leader and educator, often traveling to conferences or client sites to deliver education or presentations. I enjoy that my role is both internal to my organization, while also being external and serving the healthcare industry as a whole.
What role did Westminster play in leading you to this career?
Westminster encouraged me to accept challenges head on. The liberal arts education transcends technology and a fast-paced, ever-changing world.
The liberal arts education Westminster provided helped me to understand the importance of communication. The strength of the biology, psychology, and business programs at Westminster allowed me to jump into a career as a knowledgeable young adult and facilitate advancement quickly. Because of Westminster’s applicability of education, I developed and thrived in a career role that didn’t even exist while I was in college.
Which of your achievements are you most proud of?
Professionally, I am most proud of creating two of the roles I have held within my career. It’s difficult to assume a role which no one has ever been in before and mold it to the needs of the organization and industry.
In my personal life, I am proud that I have placed an emphasis on giving back to organizations which do so much good. My parents are both servant-leaders, and growing up I was taught you give back, in any way you can. I’ve been fortunate to give time and energy to organizations which benefit regional and specific communities.
Who was your favorite Westminster faculty member?
Dr. Bob Seelinger made ancient history relatable to modern times, and I enjoyed his leadership and execution for the Biology and Belize trip. I’ve always appreciated his positive attitude and his sense of humor.
Do you recommend Westminster to prospective college students?
I couldn’t recommend Westminster enough – especially after two of my sisters graduated, and as my third sister starts her Westminster career. My husband also received a top-notch education at Westminster, and so many of my Westminster friends are advancing quickly in their careers, in part due to their excellent Westminster education. Liberal arts institutions are incredible for entrusting you with responsibility, believing in your capability, holding you accountable, and developing your potential.