Kimbery Klausing Carries on Family Legacy While Making Her Own Tracks
Kimberly Klausing chose to attend Carnegie Mellon University because the institution was the right fit for her, with a strong reputation for academics, research and athletics. In Carnegie Mellon, she saw an opportunity to attend a university that stressed academics with the prospect to continue her swimming career.
"I decided to attend Carnegie Mellon for its strong academic reputation in engineering," said Klausing. "And after talking to Coach Kinney, I believed he would be an incredible coach and be able to challenge me throughout my four years athletically."
When Klausing enrolled at Carnegie Mellon four years ago, she knew about her family's connection to the University. Klausing's family is from Pittsburgh and first became involved at Carnegie Mellon through her grandfather when he became the head football coach in 1976. Chuck Klausing built a strong tradition from 1976 to 1985, as he led the Tartans to 77 wins and a win percentage of .830, which stands as the best win percentage of any head football coach in Carnegie Mellon's history.
Prior to his time at Carnegie Mellon, Coach Klausing held assistant coaching positions at five different schools, including an assistantship under Bobby Bowden at West Virginia University, before landing on the Pittsburgh campus.
Coach Klausing passed the torch to current head coach Rich Lackner, who is now in his 31st year at the helm, after Lackner played and coached under him at Carnegie Mellon. Aside from having a close relationship with Lackner, Klausing also stays connected to the football program through his grandson Jeff Simmons, an 11-year assistant for the Tartans.
"We all know that CMU is one of the top ranked schools in the country," Coach Klausing said. "For all the places I worked, CMU was the one school where the players were smart enough so that when I changed the game plan in the middle of the game, or on the way to, they understood!
"The players and students were all very respectable," added the coach. "Even today, as I get the chance to meet current football players and Kimberly's swimming teammates, I'm as impressed by them off the field as I am on."
Like most student-athletes, Kimberly has used swimming as an outlet. The regimented schedule has helped her balance studying with training and to be able to put academics into perspective.
"My weeks tend to be very busy and I need to be extremely organized, disciplined and efficient with my time," said Klausing. "I believe I am a better student because of swimming."
During her final summer as a college student, Klausing spent hours on campus working in a research lab under the direction of associate professor of biomedical engineering Keith Cook.
"In Dr. Cook's lab I worked on creating artificial lung devices that are intended for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, although there are a number of diseased states that these devices may treat," said Klausing. "I hope to continue to combine both areas of my majors and pursue a career related to research."
While Kimberly will graduate in May with degrees in materials science in engineering and biomedical engineering, she won't be the first Klausing to earn a degree from the institution. That distinction is held by her father, Tom Klausing, who received his master's degree in 1978 from what is now CMU's H. John Heinz III College.
"I feel honored knowing I am continuing my family legacy," said Klausing. "It makes me proud knowing I share being a part of the athletic department with my grandfather and I know he is proud I'm attending Carnegie Mellon as a student-athlete where I am able to continue my family's belief in the importance of academics and athletics."
Carnegie Mellon recently made news for its female enrollment in STEM programs. Klausing will be one of 158 females to graduate in 2017 with a degree from the College of Engineering. She'll also be one of 10 females to graduate with double majors in materials science and engineering and biomedical engineering.