May 22, 2023
Kristin Platts

When she was laid off after spending 14 years writing for the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, Kristin Platts decided to finish what she’d started. 

That meant transferring to Stanislaus State 16 years after completing her associate degree at Modesto Junior College to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Media, a newly created degree program. 

“Being an older student in a sea of young people was initially terrifying, but embracing challenges and opportunities made the entire experience here even more worthwhile,” Platts said. 

She found a home with the Signal as a writer and most recently as the school newspaper’s senior editor. While learning all the new tools of today’s journalism, she found herself serving as a mentor to new writers. 

The journey from 40-year-old transfer student to college graduate has not been an easy one. 

In addition to returning to classes, projects, late-night study sessions and writing papers, Platts, recently divorced, is a single mom and 4-H parent volunteer. She’s also president of the Riverbank Historical Society. 

Her best friend died in March 2022, and her father died on April 28, 10 months after he was diagnosed with the aggressive glioblastoma brain cancer. 

She wasn’t afraid to ask for help through such challenging times. 

“I have been incredibly lucky to have the support of the greatest staff at the Signal and the understanding of the best advisors and professors at Stan State who granted extensions, accepted late work, understood when I had to miss classes and without reluctance, gave me time off from my job at the Signal.” Platts wrote.  

Graduation, while a milestone and moment to be proud, will be bittersweet. 

“All my parents have wanted since I went back to school is to see me graduate,” wrote Platts, a first-generation college student. “Even though my dad is gone now, I know he will be there with me as I cross the stage.” 

#StanGrad File


Kristin Platts


Riverbank, CA


Bachelor of Arts in Creative Media, Journalism Minor

What memories stand out most from your time at Stanislaus State?

“Being senior editor of the Signal has been an incredibly fun and rewarding experience. I worked as a journalist for close to 14 years before coming back to school, so I knew I wanted to write for the Signal. That was really my only goal at first. I had no idea what being part of the Signal would do for me or the amazing people I would meet because of it. My past journalism experience gave me the foundation to become a mentor to the younger writers here and that has been the absolute most rewarding part of my time here.” 

Which faculty or staff member had the greatest impact on you, and why?

“The Signal's advisor, Shannon Stevens, became a mentor to me almost from day one, and is someone I call a friend. She saw potential in me that I had a hard time seeing in myself. She also convinced me that I am capable of going to grad school, which is something I never considered before. Rachel Grimshaw and Aaron Lanser, who took over for Shannon during her sabbatical this semester, were my major support system as I’ve struggled through the months-long illness and eventual loss of my dad in April.” 

What advice would you give to current and future students?

“See the potential in yourself that others see in you and give yourself grace when you feel like a failure. Also, ask for help when you’re struggling. I never would have survived this semester if I didn’t tell my professors about my personal struggles.” 

Note: This article is part of the StanGrad series highlighting Stanislaus State students who are part of the Class of 2023. Read more StanGrad profiles.