Kirsten holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from the University of San Diego. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Grinnel College in Iowa.
She served as an Adjunct Counselor for the Counseling Department and Career Center at Mesa College. In addition, she has served as a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Palomar College in the Counseling Department. Prior to that, she spent a number of years working at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), primarily in the Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools.