Katherine T. Volk '00
Devastation wrought by hurricanes, floods, violence, economic and other disasters arrives with ferocity and immediacy. Then, for weeks, months, even years, trauma can upend the lives of survivors-as well as the lives of first responders, counselors, and others who help in the wake.
As the leader of an institute committed to improving the knowledge and skills of people working in human services, Katie Volk trains thousands around the world each year on the best practices for assisting men and women who are homeless, children who are victims of violence, and anyone dealing with trauma.
Katie is managing director of T3 — or, "Think, Teach, Transform" — and a senior associate at the Center for Social Innovation in Needham, Massachusetts. Prior to joining the Center, Katie spent seven years at the National Center on Family Homelessness, where she worked with communities in the post-Katrina Gulf; was lead author of a Homelessness and Traumatic Stress Training Package; and developed a physical and emotional awareness program for children living in transitional settings. She was co-author of the seminal 2010 report "Homelessness: Minimizing the Impact, Ending the Epidemic," and played an integral role in the conceptualization, writing, design and release of the report, "America's Youngest Outcasts: State Report Card on Child Homelessness."
Today, in addition to writing and leading training programs at T3, she is frequently called upon to lecture, and participate in symposia and conferences.
In the words of her nominator: "Katie has taken her Holy Cross education; her love of language, books and writing; and applied it to a cause and mission that is so integral to the betterment of our communities."
An English major and Peace and Conflict Studies concentrator at Holy Cross, Katie graduated with honors and membership in the Alpha Sigma Nu and Sigma Tau Delta honor societies. She was co-chair of the Student Government Association and a leader in Student Programs for Urban Development.
Following graduation, she worked two years at Stand for Children as a membership coordinator before earning a dual master's degree in child development and urban policy at Tufts University.
Her faith life has continued to parallel her work for justice, and over the years, she has served as a CCD teacher, played an active role in her parish communities, and participated in Contemplative Leaders in Action, organized by the Jesuit Collaborative in Boston.
For her radical compassion, for her fearlessness in taking on complex social problems, and for her constancy in meeting people "where they are," the College of the Holy Cross presents to Katherine T. Volk the Sanctae Crucis Award.