Relationally focused and faith-driven, Cara Horstman joins the Bethel community.
By Morgan Day and Molly Wilson
Cara Horstman officially began her role as the Title IX Coordinator in a part-time capacity on April 18. She will fully transition into the role May 16. Until then, she is completing her fourth year as a resident director at Crown College and taking Title IX training courses. She is ready to begin her new role at Bethel and excited to connect with students.
Q: What did you do before accepting the Title IX Coordinator position?
A: I am currently serving as a resident director at Crown College, which is just a few miles away from Bethel in the suburbs, and I started doing that right after I graduated from college in 2018. In college, I was an RA for a couple years, and I really loved being able to pour into the women on my floor and work with students and plan events and just build community within my college. After college, God was like, “I’m going to close every other door that’s even a possibility so that you can only go through the one door that I want you to be in.” And that’s what led me to be an RD. I’ve been at Crown for four years now, and I’ve loved every moment of it.
Q: What is your go-to coffee order?
A: I walk up to our coffee cart ladies at Crown and they say ‘the usual?’ and I say ‘yes.’ It’s just a black coffee with toasted marshmallow and toffee nut flavoring in it and a little bit of half and half. And I drink that every morning. It’s my favorite thing.
Q: What brought you to Bethel?
A: As much as I loved ministering in that way, I was ready to move on from RD life. It is a draining ministry at times, and with COVID-19 it grew more difficult and I just knew it was definitely time for me to move on to the next step. I felt God calling me to Bethel. I always said I knew I was going to be done with an RD when God made it obvious because God made it obvious that I was supposed to be an RD in the first place. And He did this year. So I did a lot of reflecting and trying to figure out what it was that God wanted me to do next. I love higher education. I love college students. I would love to stay in this field. This job keeps me in the higher education field without being as student focused, which is something I needed a break from. Instead I get to do something that’s outside my comfort zone and also something that I’m passionate about and still has face-to-face interaction with college students.
Q: What is the last thing you did before the pandemic?
A: The last thing I did before the world shut down was go to California to visit one of my friends from college and got her engaged. Her fiance reached out and was like, “Here’s the plan, I need your help.” And we got her to the place and got to be there when he proposed to her.
Q: What is your family like?
A: I’m the oldest of three. I have two younger brothers. One of my brothers is an accountant in Denver, Colorado. Boring job, but he loves it. We need accountants in the world. I just could never do that. My other brother just turned 16 on Easter. He’s awesome. He’s had a physical disability from birth and is in a wheelchair. He plays wheelchair basketball and sled hockey. It’s just been really cool to see my parents get my community in northwest Iowa really involved in adaptive sports. It’s something that my family’s really passionate about. It has been really cool to see these kids who have the same passions as everybody else be able to do some of those things that they’ve never been able to do before, and be introduced to different sports that they didn’t even know were possible for them to do.
Q: What is your vocational “end goal?”
A: End goal would be to be in higher education in some form, something in student life, whether that’s a VP of Student Life, a dean position, Student Care or something like that. I’d love to continue to work with students. I love to get to see them.
Q: What are your favorite forms of entertainment?
A: I’m definitely a podcast person. I like TV shows. I’ll stick to the sitcoms over a long movie, so “New Girl” and “Friends.” I’m not an “Office” person. I really like “Parks and Rec.” I’m a true-crime podcaster. There’s a podcast called “Ologies” which is just this girl who talks about the most random things with different -ologists. One time, it was a sleep doctor and the next one’s about snails. And then the next one is on bees. And then there’s one on volcanoes. It’s just this crazy modge podge and I love it, because I just love information. So those are my go-tos for sciency podcasts, because I was a biology major in college. “This Podcast Will Kill You” is a good one. And “Flash Forward” is a little bit of a sciency one too.
Q: What do you wish more people knew about Title IX?
A: No two situations are the same whether they feel very similar or not. Each situation is handled differently because of just the nature of the situation. It is a step-by-step process that we go through, but it’s not as step-by-step as I think most people assume. We have to do certain things because it is federal law, but Title IX is so person-focused, and I think that can get lost a lot in logistical things. It’s scary, no matter what, to report anything, to file any sort of complaint. And there’s trauma and mental health that come alongside it. Something that I’ve learned in my training is that you don’t have to do it alone. Every person that files a complaint has the ability to take a support person to go through the process with them. I never really knew that before. It’s important to know that it’s not something you have to do by yourself.