KATE MACKINNON ’77
Study Everything, Make Connections
As a student, I majored in psychology, but I was interested in women’s studies and art, too. They might sound unrelated, but it all seemed to tie together. While I was learning about patterns in Color and Comp, I was also discovering optical illusions in Psychology. My courses always seemed to complement one another.
See the World
I’ve traveled pretty extensively—both for work and pleasure—and I love it. My most favorite place to travel is Italy. It’s a trip for the senses. The artist in me loves it, and the people are so warm.
Eat. A lot.
One of the things I enjoy most about traveling is getting to experience all different kinds of cuisine. I love food. I’m not, but I probably should be, 500 lbs.
Make Bold Changes
I was a freelancing graphic artist during the controversy about going digital in the 1980s. Though I’ve made my career in computers and technology, I am such a tactile artist that designing on a computer bored me. Instead, I went back to school and started studying textiles, like weaving and painting on silk.
I discovered feng shui in Hong Kong. The spirituality and art of it really appealed to me. I became a certified practitioner, and now people’s homes and offices are a canvas for my artistic expression.
Serve Your Alma Mater
The successes in my life have everything to do with HWS, so I am eager to give back. As President of the Alumnae Association, I help other alumnae reconnect and hopefully create a positive experience. I hope that HWS will be my legacy.
Connect & Reconnect
I am proud to have William Smith on my resume and to see the Colleges growing in such remarkable ways. I love connecting with smart, articulate students and reconnecting with amazing alums. For me, it is an honor to come back to campus. It feeds my soul.
Be An Athlete
At HWS, I was a swimmer, and I played squash and tennis. I was never really competitive about it, but nowadays I compete in triathlons. My goal is to complete a full distance iron man competition.
Discover Hidden Talents
As a student, I so admired William Smith Dean Christine Young. I wanted to follow her footsteps, so I ended up in the Barnard College Office of Admission, where they were just starting to use computers. That’s how I discovered my aptitude for technology.
Ride the Next Wave
I’ve tried lots of different careers, from artist to teacher, but I’ve always been just on the next wave of technology. Currently, I work at JPMorgan Chase, creating technologies that support human resources. I ended up where I never thought I would.
Excel in the Workplace
When people gave me opportunities on the job, I excelled because I had the ability to learn quickly and be creative. Everything I did at HWS taught me to be that way. I attribute a lot of my successes to my education.
My life is constantly changing and growing. I’m in the process of building a Feng Shui house in Woodstock. And in 2007, I learned how to surf and golf. I’m always looking to try new things. Exploration has been a definite theme in my life.
Set a Standard
My team at J. P. Morgan Chase set a company benchmark by creating a computer program that management uses to make salary and promotion recommendations. We’ve been invited to speak to other teams as an example of a best practice.
Share Your History
After attending Reunion with me, my boyfriend said he had a new understanding and appreciation for me as a person. He could easily see how HWS shaped me into who I am today. He really admired the campus and the people.
MORE EXPERIENCE MAPS
Check back each month for two new Experience Maps.
- April Abbott '09
- Elaine Aguasvivas '10
- Akilah Browne '11
- Greg Dlubac '08
- Emily Gailun '08
- Chris Garland '09
- Rob Genovese '08
- Robert Hendry '10
- Jamie Hutchins '08
- Courtney Jones '09
- Sade Jones '08
- Austin Kana '09
- Casey Marshall '09
- Oliver Meeker '09
- Jake Napier '09
- Regina Triplett '10
- Amanda Ward '11
- Shavonne Ward '09