Nephrology Staff Profile – Kirsti Moose-McConkey

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been working at UVA since 2015 when I started as a part-time graduate student assistant in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures (MESALC) while I earned my Master’s Degree. After graduating I was hired as the front desk assistant in the School of Medicine Office of Grants and Contracts. I later joined the grants team in that office (shout out to the SOM Grants Team!) before moving on to my current position as a grants administrator for the Divisions of Nephrology and Endocrinology. I live in Afton with my husband and our 7-year-old son where we enjoy gardening, riding bikes, and laying in our hammock. After work I always go see my horse, Felix, who is a recently retired racehorse that I’m restarting as a dressage/eventing horse.

Why Healthcare?
In high school and college, I always enjoyed research and wanted to earn a DVM and become a researcher. Although that didn’t pan out, while working at the front desk of the SOM Office of Grants and Contracts I discovered that I find enjoyment in supporting researchers as an administrator.

What brought you to Charlottesville?
I was accepted to the MESALC Graduate Program, earning a Master’s Degree had always been a longer term goal of mine. (Further incentive was that my love interest at the time – now my husband – lived nearby in Afton)

What excites you about your work?
Helping people find solutions to different problems and being part of a team. I love working on and completing projects.

Proudest/greatest achievement outside the professional realm?
Being the first woman in my family to earn a Master’s degree (in two years while our son was a toddler!)

Next life?
Running a horse stable and organic farm in New Zealand.

Favorite vacation/activity spot?
We go to Myrtle Beach every winter holiday to spend time with friends that we never get to see the rest of the year (many of us live in different parts of the country). We have a big communal Christmas meal and spend New Year’s Eve square dancing until midnight – the last and most fun dance is always the Virginia Reel, naturally! This is also how I met my husband.

Most admired person, and why?
My husband. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor on his 19th birthday and had to have emergency surgery to save his life that day. He has since been through many different procedures and complications but thankfully has come out with a stable prognosis. He has been unable to participate in life in the same ways he once enjoyed but still manages to be a wonderful partner and father and to ride his mountain bike as much as he can. He has been through so much and despite everything maintains the most amazing positive attitude and is always unconditionally kind, funny, and full of compassion.

What is it about you that would surprise us?
I have competed as a three-phase eventer, powerlifter, and cyclo-cross cyclist. I’ve also had several independent art shows featuring my work.

What is a talent or skill that you don’t have that you wish you did?
I wish I wasn’t [deathly] afraid to sing in front of people because I love music (I used to play bass in high school, no singing though) and I would really love to be able to express myself musically.

Favorite fictional characters?
Harley Quinn, Katniss Everdeen, and Sherlock Holmes.

Do you collect anything?
Music, especially vinyl records.

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