2021-2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards: Kristine I. Simmons
The Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented annually by each of RIT’s nine colleges, the School of Individualized Study, and the Graduate School to alumni who have performed at the highest levels of their profession or who have contributed to the advancement and leadership of civic, philanthropic, or service organizations. It is the highest award an RIT college can bestow upon its alumni. The 2021-2022 recipients were honored during presentations throughout the spring semester.
College of Liberal Arts honoree: Kristine I. Simmons BS ’90
What is your career highlight to date?
“One moment of my time in public service will stay with me always. In the spring of 2002, when I was working at the White House, I was privileged to meet the families of the heroes of Flight 93, individuals who sacrificed their lives to prevent one of the 9/11 hijacked planes from reaching the White House or the Capitol. Near the end of that emotional and humbling visit, the mother of one of the Flight 93 passengers turned to the assembled White House staff and said, ‘If they died trying to save you, they would be so pleased to see what beautiful people you are.’ I will never forget it and I remain deeply honored to have met them.”
How did RIT help to prepare you for success?
“RIT exposed me to creative and accomplished people who inspired me to learn and grow. My experience as a student leader taught me to listen, collaborate, and manage projects, and gave me confidence and relationships that propelled my career.”