Alumni Profile: Dr. Katie Monroe

Dr. Katie Monroe (GSE ’72, ’74)  always felt very strongly about the importance of receiving a good education. Her passion for learning was inspired by the values instilled by her parents, and her determination to never stop learning fueled her to inspire and encourage students to work their hardest in school, at work, and in their communities. Her determination to always look for more opportunities to learn was identified and stimulated by former Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) professor, Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor, who served as a significant inspiration throughout her academic and professional career.

Dr. Monroe completed her bachelor’s degree in biological science with a minor in mathematics at St. Paul’s Episcopal College after being recommended by Dr. Proctor- who was serving on the board of directors at the time. Dr. Proctor continued to be an influential advisor even after Dr. Monroe went pursued a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at George Washington University. It was during this time that new trends were emerging in mathematics education, prompting her to pursue a career in teaching. Following Dr. Proctor’s advice to consider Rutgers University for her studies, she researched the programs offered by the GSE while looking for teaching positions in the area.

She accepted an offer to become a middle school mathematics teacher in Metuchen, enabling her to begin the master’s program in guidance and counseling at the GSE in 1969. Despite her demanding schedule, juggling both classwork and a full-time job, she was determined to receive her master’s degree. During this time, Dr. Monroe was encouraged by Dr. Proctor to pursue a doctorate degree at the GSE in counseling psychology and guidance. Her academic and professional career took off as she became even more involved in opportunities within her community.

“I’m very excited about what I do in the community and I like to involve my students as well. I think it’s important to teach our students the importance of giving back,” says Dr. Monroe.  

As a passionate educator, Dr. Monroe was always looking for new opportunities to learn and to stay active in her community. She took supplemental courses in curriculum and development at Rider University while holding up her responsibilities as a teacher and a student at the GSE. She became an active member of The American Personnel and Guidance Association (APGA) and soon became the Membership Chairperson to the President. She was also involved in The Links Inc., an international non-profit dedicated to supporting leadership focusing on women of color. As a student at Rutgers, she was involved with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority which focuses on promoting academic excellence and involvement in the African American community.  

Dr. Monroe’s career spans many facets of education environments and roles. She has been a principal, a counselor, a teacher, and a tutor. She also branched out to pursue teaching opportunities in higher education as an adjunct professor at Essex County College, Kean College Somerset Community College, and William Paterson University where she retired from. Her involvement in her sorority helped her create a non-profit counseling service center located in East Orange, New Jersey.  Through all of these experiences, Dr. Monroe felt that being an active member and giving back to the community was the motivation that guided her through her career and private life. From volunteering at the local food pantry to teaching after-school programs, she made sure to encourage the students around her to give back to their communities.