Kirsten Ruby's Biography
University of Illinois
Associate Director, Office for University Relations
Much of my childhood was spent in a 1972 Volkswagen camper van (with pop-up top), traveling around the continent every summer. I saw a lot of baseball, hiked a lot of mountains and canyons, and read a lot of books. Life on the road prepared me for a year in New Zealand in high school and Semester at Sea in college.
I found myself, at the end of my undergraduate days at Illinois Wesleyan University, with a degree in classical studies. There really isn’t a lot of demand for Ancient Greek in the workplace, so I headed to Northern Illinois University for a master’s degree. My graduate assistantship was as a proofreader in the Office of Publications, and as seems to be a common tale in creative work, I just stayed. I served as an editor in the office, and it was during this time Tadson Bussey, now UCDA’s executive director, introduced me to the association. My work with Designer magazine started in 2002, and I’ve loved the association and its members every since. The magic that happens when good writing meets good design always gives me a thrill, and it’s what I strive for every day.
That year I made the move to central Illinois and the University of Illinois, to serve as the marketing director for University Housing. I have a wonderful staff and love what we do, working with students and supporting the on-campus experience with strategic communications and marketing.
I live with my partner, Greg, in our delightful micro-urban community of Urbana, Illinois. I still love travel and reading, and when I’m home I enjoy creating quilts, cooking, and fostering homeless cats and kittens for a local shelter (go on, you can always adopt one more. See me when you’re ready).