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“The degree I earned at Minot State, I don’t know if I could have been more prepared, It was intense and I truly got a solid education. Plus, I have a really close friend group – friends and also colleagues – that can help me. I know if I don’t know something, then I know who to reach out to."
Katie (AIde) Kringen '07, '09

University Communications

Leap of faith paying off for Kringen

When Katie (Aide) Kringen ‘07, ‘09 started to think about changing from a teaching role to a private practice, she was a little timid.

“I loved the school setting,” Kringen said. “I come from a family of teachers and felt like that is just what you do.”

But after she and her husband, Josh Kringen ‘08, discussed the idea, she decided to take a chance.

“I closed my eyes and did it,” she recalls. “When I started, the practice was in Mondak Sports.”

Fast forward just two years to 2017 and Kringen has grown her Williston, N.D., business, Chatter Pediatric Therapy, to seven therapists, offering physical, occupational, and speech & language therapy to children. She has plans to open a second clinic in Dickinson, N.D., in 2018.

“The first year it was just me, but my paths crossed with occupational therapy and physical therapy and decided to add them,” Kringen said. “We found a building, started it, and it took off. It’s been surreal.

“I don’t know if it was a specific goal of mine, but owning my own building and business is pretty awesome.”

Kringen moved to Williston and started a business from scratch during the height of the Bakken oil boom. She feels the move was perfectly timed.

“We started this business during the baby boom,” she said. “There were 800 babies born last year. The schools are full and the special education departments are full so we can offer another level of support for the schools and families.”

For Kringen, working in the private setting has allowed her to use her master’s degree in speech-language pathology on a more personal level.

“I liked the school setting, but when I was in Glendive (Montana), I had 120 students under me. I didn’t actually do any therapy for four years,” she said. “Now, I get to spend a lot of time with my clients, get to know the families, and work in an intense setting. It’s very rewarding.”

She credits her time in MSU’s program preparing her for the day-to-day side of the job and credits Josh’s time at MSU for the business side.

“The degree I earned at Minot State, I don’t know if I could have been more prepared,” she said. “It was intense and I truly got a solid education. Plus, I have a really close friend group – friends and also colleagues – that can help me. I know if I don’t know something, then I know who to reach out to.

“On the business side, I really didn’t have a clue. I’m thankful for Josh – who is a Minot State grad in business – for that. He was super optimistic and encouraging through the whole thing.”

Published: 01/02/18



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