Leadership Academy Scholar KyLee Hennes
Hubertus, WI

Major and Graduation

Architecture – May 2024 

Short-Term Goals

I've always been the type of person who believes that anyone of any cultural background, economic status, ethnicity, gender, etc., can achieve whatever they put their minds to. Through my time at IIT thus far, I have learned the fundamental values of collaboration and initiating teamwork. Through the next few years of college and into my professional career as a licensed architect, I hope to continue to serve on the NOMASiit and I-NOMA executive boards. Being a part of organizations at the university level allows us as young adults to learn the importance of having a voice. There truly is nothing more valuable than the knowledge of the generations to come. Although I know I will continue to face challenges due to being younger than my classmates, I will never let my age set me back from pursuing my dream goals. As human beings in this vast world of opportunities and experiences, we need strong leaders at the forefront; to help us move forward with issues of gender discrimination, racial injustice, economic challenges, the stigmas of mental health, among others. It is a goal of mine in the next few years of my college experience to continue my work in on-campus organizations so that every new incoming class that comes to IIT knows that there is a future here just waiting for them; we need their voices to be heard. 

Long-Term Goals

As I look to the long term, I would like to stay involved in the culture of my college education as an alumna of the College of Architecture, while still maintaining a steady position as a Project Architect at a local architecture firm in the Chicagoland area. Although I know where I would like to be in terms of my professional career, I personally overlook the importance of true happiness in life. I believe that through my process as an architectural designer in my future and after graduation, I will have the ability to impact people's day to day life through a design and through a concept; and I think that is true happiness. The idea of knowing that I can change a life or serve a community in need is truly what I want to do for the rest of my career and life in general. Because it is a true value of mine to continue learning so that we pave the way for the generations to come, it is a lofty goal of mine to come back to teaching after practicing architecture. I have had a number of role models in my experience at IIT thus far and the idea of following in their footsteps by working as a professor for the incoming architects after we finish our work here on earth is at the back of my mind whenever I dream about my future. As architects, urban planners, engineers, construction managers, among other fields, we are trusted with human life. Although we are working with actual structures, what truly matters is the lives we are changing when we design. It has always been a main priority of mine to take into consideration how an architect is affecting the community they are designing for, which sheds light on my interest in community leadership and involvement. Architecture is not solely about the aesthetics or appearance of a design; it has the ability to influence societal issues that are prominent in our current society. I believe that in the long-term, we must understand as designers and young leaders that leading is not about superiority, but about collaboration and teamwork.

Leadership Experience

  • Treasurer - NOMASiit - 2021-Present
  • Project Pipeline Chair - NOMASiit - 2020-2021
  • Project Pipeline Co-Chair - I-NOMA - 2021-Present
  • Social Media Representative - Catholic Campus Ministry - 2020-Present
  • Choral Director - St. Boniface Children's Choir - 2018-2019
  • Principal Roles in Musical Theatre productions 2012-Present