Katie Hoffstatter had a circuitous route to where she is now, as she planned on being a veterinarian. After working with pets in high school, she realized that although she loved the pets, she wasn’t as fond of their owners. Architecture came about after combining her interests in math, science, and art. “I used to draw up designs for tree houses, doll houses, dog houses, and would always be sketching and planning out ways to experience space. Deep down, I think I always knew I enjoyed this, but I didn’t have the tools to put two and two together when I decided on architecture.”

Now about to graduate with a Bachelor of Architecture degree, Hoffstatter first came to Rensselaer for the two-week, residential Architecture Career Discovery Program and found her niche. Working with the TAs and Adam Dayem, a lecturer in the School of Architecture, set the foundation for her decision to come to Rensselaer.

A feeling of belonging also helped Hoffstatter in her college choice. “I fell in love with the campus, the city, the faculty, and the prospective students. RPI made me feel wanted and welcome, which I cannot say about some of the other New York State schools I looked at.”

Although her bachelor’s degree is in architecture, Hoffstatter is pursuing her graduate degree at the Paris College of Art in the field of interior design. While she loves designing spaces on a large scale for people to inhabit, she likes the interaction on the smaller scale of working with the people to design those spaces. She took French in high school and has missed the culture since then, and after studying abroad in Latin America in her third year at Rensselaer, she discovered that living away from the familiar is “amazing!”

In addition to studying during her time at Rensselaer, she also was involved with a cappella group The Rusty Pipes, working at Mueller Center gym and in the School of Architecture Fabrication shop, and with Flatbook and Co., an interior design firm in Troy. Some of her fondest memories were shared with The Rusty Pipes doing shows, gigs, and tours pre-pandemic, and hanging out together at the Commons or the Union.

For the past year, Hoffstatter has thrown herself into various hobbies including cooking, crocheting, longboarding, and blogging. “In order to learn something new, you have to be OK with failing at it before you can be good at it. This is something that is good for anyone to learn,” she remarked. “I have learned to be more open with others, and to communicate exactly what it is I’m feeling, especially when something is bothering me. Time with myself during this pandemic has helped me to be better for others. All around, it’s a win-win.”