Katie Lewis-LaMonica '08, alumna
On the lacrosse field, Katie Lewis-LaMonica ’08 was used to being the go-to person. The midfielder from Lawrenceville, N.J., was the 2005 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and played on the U.S. National Team from 2005-08. She also had the opportunity to compete for a spot on the 2009 World Cup Team.
Now she is serving in a 10-month fellowship at Rocketship Education, a network of seven high-performing public charter schools in San Jose. The program hopes to serve 1 million students by 2030.
"Rocketship is reimagining what an elementary school classroom looks like by integrating online learning into the classroom and redefining the role of a teacher," she says.
In 2011, she was selected to be in the inaugural D.C. cohort of Emerging Leaders, a 10-month leadership development program for emerging nonprofit leaders. The program is run by Princeton AlumniCorps, a Princeton alumni-driven initiative that engages alumni in significant public interest initiatives. AlumniCorps also was her gateway to an earlier work experience at CityBridge Foundation, a family Foundation dedicated to solving complex social problems through public and private collaboration. At CityBridge she managed a $3 million portfolio of investments and conducted national best practices research to inform the foundation’s strategy on designing programs for its partners.
Her dedication to public education is well recognized. In November 2010, she took a short leave of absence from CityBridge after she was asked to join the Education Transition Team for incoming D.C. Mayor Vince Gray.
Her undergraduate experiences prepared Lewis-Lamonica for her current roles. “We gain not only academic knowledge and problem-solving skills from our classes, but also a more practical brand of knowledge from extracurriculars—an understanding of group dynamics and the communication skills necessary for successful collaboration with others. Lacrosse in particular helped me develop these more practical skills,” she says.
In the summer of 2006, she went to Peru with the Princeton chapter of Engineers Without Borders to design and build a solar-energy system for a rural community. As a Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs major with a focus on education and child development, she left the engineering to others and concentrated instead on teaching community members how to use and maintain the system.
Lewis-LaMonica also participated in Princeton’s Sustained Dialogue program, which convened small groups of students from all racial and ethnic backgrounds to candidly discuss delicate issues. “It creates a safe environment to talk about stereotypes and discrimination,” she says.
In addition, Lewis-LaMonica was a youth mentor in the Trenton Bridge Lacrosse Program and an Outdoor Action trip leader. Her efforts earned her several honors at the end of her college career: the Allen Macy Dulles '51 Award, presented to a senior whose activities while at Princeton best represent or exemplify the University's informal motto, "Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of all nations”; and the Arthur Lane '34 Award, given to honor selfless contribution to sport and society by an undergraduate athlete.