Get to Know CAB: Jill Kleinkauf

By: Sarah Grace Smith

Jill Kleinkauf

Jill Kleinkauf

Meet Jill Kleinkauf, the Conference Advisory Board’s conference program lead. She is graduating from Chapman University and will be attending law school in the hopes of pursuing public interest law. Jill is a down-to-earth and determined leader who also has a love for dance. Through this interview, you can learn more about what makes Jill uniquely herself.

Why is Mortar Board important to you?

 Jill: It’s definitely been a great community on and off my campus. I think it reaffirmed what I’ve done at Chapman before joining Mortar Board, joining a group of like-minded people, and also knowing that I can have this great community of people once I leave my undergraduate education.

 What is your favorite Mortar Board memory?

 Jill: I would say going to the national conference in 2019 and being able to connect with people on a national scale. I met people that I still talk with to this day who live in completely different time zones. I’m still managing friendships where we can bounce ideas off our chapters. That’s something that was really great for me to experience.

Who or what inspires and motivates you?

Jill: My mom is my biggest inspiration. My mom has managed to take care of me through a variety of different aspects in life. I think seeing her tenacity and watching her in her own legal practice has inspired me to pursue the same field as well.

Jill Kleinkauf in front of decorated tree

If you won $100 million in the lottery today, what would you do with it?

Jill: Definitely first pay off my student debt, that’s priority number one. Set myself up for the future in investments–I’m a very practical person–and probably set some aside for my kids’ college fund or something I want to do in the future whether it be a business or philanthropic venture.

If you were shipwrecked on a deserted island with all your basic needs taken care of, what two items would you want with you?

Jill: A phone or laptop as a means to communicate with people, and then books to stay educated.

What song do you always have to sing along to, no matter where you are?

Jill: Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s funny; I was in London for a week and a half in January for a travel course at my university and that song is huge in England. It literally plays in every restaurant, every bar, everything. So, my friends and I would sing every single time it would play.

Jill Kleinkauf in an English phone booth

What’s the last gift you gave someone?

Jill:  I bought my mom a watch for her birthday.

What is your favorite thing about yourself?

Jill: I’d say the fact that I’m hard working. If I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to fully commit. I may lose sleep over it, I may not prioritize school over leadership opportunities, but I feel like I definitely pour my heart and soul into things.

What would you say to members thinking about going to our virtual conference?

Jill: Conference is a great way to learn about all things Mortar Board and in a time of uncertainty, this virtual conference will provide attendees a great path for starting the academic year on the right foot with their chapters. Being able to connect with collegiate members from chapters across the country, this experience will support our wonderful community of scholars, leaders, and servants. My biggest piece of advice is to go into the conference with an open mind to see how this society can not only benefit your life, but how you can use it to impact your campus and community.