Amber Kraus ’15 chose Kenyon in large part because of how different it was from her high school in New York City. “I went to school in a building that was 11 stories up and had no campus. So I really wanted the campus experience,” she said. The love of a natural environment will stick with her after graduation, even though she’s returning to her hometown.
Kraus, who majored in studio art and art history with an environmental studies concentration, accepted a position in the sustainability department at Tishman Speyer, a prominent real estate building company.
“Environmental architecture has a lot of potential to enable me to incorporate the arts and environmental studies components of my time here,” she said.
Choosing her areas of study was an evolution from the time she arrived in Gambier. In high school, she had studied Ansel Adams and taken courses in photography, but hadn’t decided on her college major. Her first year at Kenyon, she explored classes in English and anthropology, but it was a course that combined environmental studies and art in the second semester that set her on her trajectory.
Her senior capstone project displayed at the Gund Gallery included four “portraits” made by tracing the shadows of sculptures she created from reclaimed materials from a local salvage company. “I really enjoyed using the found object, not using new materials, but going out and collecting this material and taking its past and repurposing it for a future meaning,” said Kraus, who played on the Kenyon volleyball team for three years. Repurposing materials and retrofitting existing buildings will be part of her job at Tishman Speyer.
Kraus said the College enabled her to explore all of her interests and turn them into a viable career path. “I’m just happy that I’ve been able to incorporate seemingly disparate areas of study. That Kenyon has allowed me to do that is really exciting.”