Admissions counselor becomes second-career, sustainability star

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Kate Krueger

While serving as a counselor in RIT’s Admissions Office four years ago, Kate Krueger became so fascinated with the Golisano Institute of Sustainability’s Master of Architecture program that she joined its inaugural class.

“I was so intrigued by the combination of sustainability and architecture, creativity with analysis, and the right brain and left brain,” said Krueger, who graduates this summer. “It didn’t take long for me to become lovingly called ‘grandma’ by my fresh-out-of-college classmates.”

Hardly the age of a grandmother, Krueger did take a circuitous path to RIT after graduating with bachelor’s degrees in American studies and German from Carleton College in 2005. She readily admits “exploring for a few years.”

“I once taught first-grade math and second-grade poetry,” said Krueger, who grew up in Seattle. “William Blake’s The Tyger and William Carlos Williams’ This is Just to Say were two of my students’ favorite works to analyze and mimic.”

She later interned at an independent, nonprofit music station in her hometown before finding herself working out of a construction trailer for a few months. Krueger then joined Google’s fast-growing Seattle office, where she supported engineering and site directors, planned events and helped develop and lead the office’s local community affairs program.

It wasn’t until after she moved to Rochester to be closer to her now husband that Krueger discovered her true career passion through her role with RIT Admissions.

She quickly embraced all that the GIS curriculum had to offer, supplementing her classroom instruction with a wide variety of work experiences, including an internship at HBT Architects in Pittsford, N.Y.; a consulting-research study with Buffalo’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute; research projects on micro-hydropower and alternative building materials led by Gabrielle Gaustad, GIS assistant professor; a teaching-assistant position for a cross-disciplinary studio course on sustainable product design with Callie Babbitt—also an assistant professor at GIS—and Alex Lobos, assistant professor of industrial design; and a student-representative position on the Master of Architecture program’s curriculum committee.

Krueger was part of the RIT student team that presented its preliminary findings on micro-hydropower at last year’s National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C., earning an honorable mention against stiff competition from around the country.

“Kate’s drive, enthusiasm and exceptional creative abilities will take her far in the architectural field—of that we have no doubt,” said Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director of GIS. “She is a star and has set the bar incredibly high for our future students. We are all very excited to see the great designs in her future.”

Maybe even as excited as Krueger was to join the RIT program’s first class.