I am excited today to honor the amazing person, colleague and friend that is Katherine Strotmeyer. Kate currently serves as the Communications and Community Outreach Director at the University of Vermont Cancer Center, however, until this past August, she had served as the Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives for the Division of Student Affairs.
Kate has had an insurmountable impact on this institution and the lives of those around her, which she has done by embodying the values of Our Common Ground. These values have served as the foundation for the incredible work she has done at UVM over the last 15 years. She is an extraordinary leader who is humble, curious, openhearted, possesses an innate respect for others, and serves as a conscience within our community.
Each of the Our Common Ground values shines through Kate’s work in many different ways including: her strategic and innovative approach to her work, how she communicates and acts with integrity, her respectful and open relationships with colleagues and students, and her enduring commitment to the responsibility of championing the voice and experience of all UVM students. Kate’s impact on UVM can be seen, felt, and experienced all around us.
Kate demonstrated her innovation and belief in the power of community when working on the construction and conceptualization of the Davis Center. She was instrumental in creating the open and caring ethos that is the core of the Davis Center having infused student spirit in all areas from art to employment creating an identity for this space that has had a long-lasting impact on our community.
Kate is a systems thinker who is dedicated to strategic innovation and has respectfully supported her colleagues through challenges. She approaches these opportunities of support with curiosity prompting others to consider the challenge from all perspectives allowing her colleagues to determine the most inclusive, strategic, and appropriate approach in which to do their best work for our campus community. For example, Kate assisted the Career Center in re-envisioning its marketing and promotions strategy. She has also improved systems for Orientation and Admissions, assisted with reducing summer melt, highlighted UVM’s dedication to academic success, improved connection to the community, and has been a leader in our COVID communications strategy.
Kate seeks to understand and is unwavering in her commitment to ensuring we center ALL student voices in our collective work. Her dedication to working with the Student Advisory Board is an example of this as students express how open, respectful, and welcoming she is and how committed she is to hearing their voices. Kate has the natural ability to meet students where they are at and empower them to find their talents ensuring that their time with her has a significant impact on their UVM journey. Kate’s respect and dedication to the students helps to reinforce their commitment to upholding the values of Our Common Ground.