Kathy Carcaci recalls the switchboard operator who greeted her every morning as she arrived for work at RIT’s administration building on Plymouth Avenue in downtown Rochester.
“I think her name was Eva,” she says as she leans back in her chair. “She sat in what looked like a telephone booth and would direct people where they needed to go, while plugging away at the switchboard at the same time. As an 18-year-old kid, I thought this was just amazing.”
That was 1965—the year that Carcaci, currently RIT’s longest-serving staff member, started working at RIT, which back then was in downtown Rochester.
Carcaci was hired as the secretary to the personnel director three days after she graduated from high school. She produced memos on ditto paper and photographed and laminated faculty and staff ID photos.
She also was in charge of typing personnel contracts for faculty and hand delivering them to former RIT president Mark Ellingson for his signature.
Today, when Carcaci interviews potential employees as manager of staff recruiting, she knows that she is lucky to have remained an RIT employee for such a long time and doesn’t take anything for granted.
She still gets energized seeing nervous and scared freshmen leave four or five years later as accomplished scholars and productive citizens. In the 1990s, she helped with that transformation by advising two fraternities.
And she feels fortunate to be in the middle of a workplace that bleeds entrepreneurship, wellness, innovation and passion.
“I know I am reaching the end of my career,” Carcaci says. “But there’s a part of me that wishes I were younger with more years ahead because there are so many exciting things going on at RIT. I am proud to say I work at such a good university.”