Katherine Hardy Senkel, Judge in Jefferson County, MO

Hometown: Desloge, MO

Graduation year: 1991

Major: English

Sorority: Kappa Kappa Gamma

What other degrees have you earned?

Juris doctor degree, Mississippi College School of Law, 1995

What is your current career position?

After practicing law for more than 20 years, I now serve as a judge in Jefferson County, Missouri.

Please describe your current work.

I manage the cases of more than 400 foster children in abuse and neglect matters as well as civil actions, criminal matters and family law matters. I currently handle very complicated class-action litigation, all while balancing that caseload with the daily responsibilities of raising my two teenage daughters.

What are your future goals? 

I hope to remain in the Judiciary for some time.

In terms of your professional life, what would you say is your overarching purpose today? 

I have been provided a unique opportunity to positively  affect people’s lives, and this is the catalyst that propels me into work mode each day.

Did your liberal arts education allow you to uncover particular passions that you’ve carried into your career?

My liberal arts education at Westminster opened the world to me of new ideas and peoples. Also, during my time at Westminster, it was still mainly an all-male institution, which trained me well for the law, which at that time, was also dominated by men.

Were any relationships you formed at Westminster particularly influential in helping you find clarity of purpose?

Dr. William Bleifuss was my mentor and friend. Before I embarked to London for a semester abroad, he and his lovely wife did their best to familiarize me with London, as I had never been there.

What did you learn about leadership while at Westminster, and how has that translated into your life since graduation?

A leader must be an independent thinker. I gained my independence at Westminster and became an adult there.

What does success mean to you?

Success means balance between work and home life. And finding happiness in each moment.

What is it about Westminster that makes it the kind of community that empowers students to discover their purpose and find success?

I loved the size of the school. Not too large, but not too small.

Do you recommend Westminster to prospective college students?

Absolutely!  It is a wonderful school, both academically and socially.

Favorite spot on campus?

The Quad

Last book you read?

Where the Crawdads Sing

Favorite movie or TV show?

Downton Abbey

Favorite app?


Favorite way to spend a Sunday?

Relaxing with family and friends

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