Texas A&M University biology graduate Kristen K. Free ’11 of Austin has been named to the 2021 cohort of the Texas A&M University 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight.
Free, who earned her bachelor of science in biology in 2010, is among this year’s 12 recipients selected by The Association of Former Students to receive the prestigious honor recognizing former students who have graduated within the past 12 years for demonstrating excellence in business and service while representing Texas A&M’s core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service.
Free is being celebrated along with Jayci R. Giaccone ’08 of Dallas; Kelli Koehler ’08 of San Antonio; Sean Murphy ’08 of Dallas; Elizabeth “Liz” Allbright ’09 of Washington, D.C.; Lauren Cornell ’09 of Hillsboro; Clinton “Brooks” Herman ’09 of Richmond; Christopher Beavers ’10 of Fort Worth; Ross Morel ’10 of Bryan; Maximilian Leutermann ’12 of College Station; Alden Warr ’16 of Frisco; and John “Trey” Yates III ’17 of Artesia, NM.
Since the inception of the award in 2014, only 96 of Texas A&M’s 527,000 former students have been recognized with the 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight.
“This year’s 12 Under 12 recipients represent a group diverse in professional calling, yet each epitomizing Texas A&M’s core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service,” said Association President and CEO Porter S. Garner III ’79. “Their early achievements are a true inspiration.”
As project marketing manager of electrophysiology (EP) therapies for global healthcare leader Abbott since 2015, Free has led product launches for a variety of medical equipment — most notably a novel diagnostic catheter that yielded multimillion-dollar revenue in its first year. From 2010 to 2015, she worked for Medtronic, where she was named Mentor of the Year in diabetes therapy associates in 2012. She is a former Wells Project alumni mentor and Impact counselor as well as an Austin Stone Community Church student ministry volunteer.
“As a fellow Aggie, I believe Kristen demonstrates the character that would proudly represent Texas A&M,” said her nominator. “Her drive, passion, faithfulness and care for people is genuinely rare. While her professional accolades are remarkable and impressive, her character and care for people far exceed her accomplishments.”
The 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight was conceived by the Young Alumni Advisory Council, a selected body of younger former students who advise The Association’s staff on ways to better connect with the hundreds of thousands of recent graduates of Texas A&M.
“Young former students are making a tremendous impact in the business world and their local communities after leaving campus, and are carrying the Aggie core values throughout the world,” said Association Vice President of Programs Marty Holmes ’87. “This honor allows The Association to spotlight the successes that Aggies of all ages and stages of life have achieved.”
Free and her fellow 12 Under 12 recipients were honored in the January-February 2021 issue of The Association’s Texas Aggie magazine.
Nominations for the 2022 Texas A&M University 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight will be accepted through Feb. 28 at http://tx.ag/12Under12, with completed profiles for any qualifying former student due by May 9 via the same website.
The Association of Former Students, established in 1879, is the official alumni organization of Texas A&M University. The Association connects hundreds of thousands of members of the worldwide Aggie Network with each other and the university and is providing $13 million in impact to university scholarships, awards, activities and enrichment for students, faculty, staff and former students in 2021.
For more information about the Texas A&M 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight or The Association, visit www.AggieNetwork.com.
Learn more about undergraduate programs in the Texas A&M Department of Biology.
Contact: Kathryn Greenwade ’88, (979) 845-7514 or KGreenwade88@AggieNetwork.com