“I learned so many valuable skills from being a student-athlete,” said Kaitlin Olmstead RSC ’09, who was recently inducted into Sage’s Athletics Hall of Fame for her achievements on the women’s volleyball team between 2005 and 2008.
Today, Olmstead is a mathematical and statistical engineer at Corning, the Fortune 500 company that creates materials for communications, electronics, automobiles, life sciences and more. “I am often the statistical lead on a project and have to work with and lead a diverse group of colleagues. I support many projects at one time, so I have to balance the workload and deadlines to make sure the work gets done when it’s needed. Developing these skills early on in my education and volleyball career have definitely helped me advance in my career.”
The opportunity to play volleyball attracted her to Russell Sage, she said, and being part of a team enhanced the sense of community she felt on campus. She was a member of the 2007 and 2008 Skyline Conference Championship teams, was the Skyline Conference’s nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year and still holds Sage records.
“It’s hard to choose,” she said, when asked to share a favorite memory from her days as a Sage Gator, then settled on the 2007 team. “It was our first year in the Skyline Conference and we ended up winning the conference, giving us an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. It was the first time in Sage history that a team made it to the NCAA tournament. It was a very proud moment for the team and for Sage volleyball.” (The Sage College Athletics Department honored the 2007 women’s volleyball team as a “Team of Distinction” at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony recognizing Olmstead and co-inductee, soccer player Rebecca Marszalek Alarcon RSC ’12.)
Olmstead said that volleyball is still a big part her life: “I run a women’s adult team where we participate in women’s tournaments around the area and we also participate in the USA Volleyball Open Adult National Championships each year.”