Page 8

Cover Story

wouldn’t be the person he is today if not for the boxing gym where he could escape to as a youth. Today he uses his gym to similarly push and challenge kids to be successful.

Vang is currently taking classes at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota to obtain her license to do family and marriage counseling and to help teach skills to children.

“Concordia prepared me for a life of purpose by giving me the confidence I needed to succeed, and my classes helped me understand what business was like and what to expect,” says Outlaw. “The professors were great, and the small class sizes allowed me to have great relationships and friendships. The school’s diversity also made me feel like I was home.”

Meanwhile, she is working full time as a production manager at Twin Cities PBS—where she has ascended despite lacking a media background. She was initially hired as an outreach coordinator, she then became a project manager and now a production manager. Her job is to facilitate work that leads to film, including coordinating schedules, communicating internally within Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) and externally, managing crews, and booking equipment used to shoot video.

Outlaw is married and has “two beautiful boys” and a baby due in July. He knows boxing might not be for them, but he wants them to be active in sports or theatre, and at least be able to defend themselves. Running the gym and foundation keeps him busy, particularly as he’s now working on The Art of Boxing - The Sport of Ballet, a unique performing and fundraising partnership with the St. Paul Ballet at the Ordway Center.

“MY CLASSES HELPED SHAPE WHO I AM AND CHALLENGED ME TO IMPROVE THE SKILLS I ALREADY HAD.”

“It’s important to find your purpose in life. Others are impacted by our purpose, and finding it gives you a life worth living—which is more valuable than climbing the corporate ladder,” adds Outlaw.

“Concordia helped my career achievement by giving me an outlet to develop my skill sets, such as public speaking, time management, and networking,” says Vang. “My classes helped shape who I am and challenged me to improve the skills I already had.”

KAOLEE VANG (‘12, M.A. ‘15)

She credits experiential learning and group work for boosting her communication skills, which have been particularly important in how she functions on her own team and interacts with the entire station staff.

Television Production Manager

Kaolee Vang started early at Concordia, taking classes as a high school junior as a part-time Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) student. During her senior year of high school, she took classes at CSP full time. So it was only natural that she’d choose Concordia for her bachelor’s degree. Vang had planned to attend dental school after college, but an internship her junior year helped her realize dentistry wasn’t for her. Instead, after graduating with a major in biology and a minor in Hmong Studies, Vang enrolled in CSP’s master’s degree program in human services with an emphasis in forensic behavioral health. “I worked at Concordia in the Office of Diversity Affairs, where I learned strong project management skills and my own personal development and networking skills. That’s also where I heard about Forensic Behavioral Health,” explains Vang. “I really like learning about mental health. There’s a big stigma about mental health issues in the community, and especially in the Hmong community. The forensics part was due to my interest in kids. I want to help kids understand and better care for their mental health.”

6

SPRING 2018 • CONCO RDIA ST. PAUL MAGAZINE

“Everything happens for a reason, so I don’t think I’d do anything differently if I could go back in time,” says Vang as she reflects on her experiences at Concordia. “When you take things day by day, amazing opportunities come your way.”

Profile for Concordia University

Concordia St. Paul Magazine | Spring 2018  

Concordia St. Paul Magazine | Spring 2018  

Advertisement