Humans of Flagstaff: Erin Kruse


NAU Communications sat down with Erin Kruse, director of the Center for Service and Volunteerism and president of the Staff Advisory Council. Read our questions and her answers below.

Tell us about a significant childhood memory and how it has impacted your life today.                   

  • I grew up in Phoenix but was lucky enough to spend portions of my childhood summers in Flagstaff. We hiked, swam at the NAU pool, fished at Lake Mary, went to movies at now long-gone theaters, and played and built forts in the woods unsupervised. It was a gift to be able to be outside in the summertime all day long and forever stamped Flagstaff on my heart. When my husband and I thought about where we wanted to raise our own children, Flagstaff was the top choice.  We moved here in 2010 and have never looked back. 

What have you been most proud of this week?

  • This week has included a lot of reflection as I’ve worked on end of year reports for both the Center for Service and Volunteerism and the Staff Advisory Council. Both CSV and SAC have undergone a lot of transition and transformation this year so it was great to look back on all those changes and accomplishments and feel proud of our collective work. 

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?                                                                                             

  • A great day off would include an early morning run or bike ride, spending the day with my kids and husband, sneaking in a little time to read a book, and then ending with cooking a great meal and inviting some friends and family over to enjoy the meal together.  

What are three things on your bucket list and why?

  • Scuba dive at the Great Blue Hole in Belize because I love being in the magical world that exists underwater and observing sea life up close. 
  • Write a novel incorporating interesting family history and the west. 
  • Having a hummingbird land on my shoulder and hang out because I love watching them But I probably couldn’t sit still patiently enough for a hummingbird to join me. 

What is your philosophy in life?                                                                                                                       

  • Assume positive intent from others and take advantage of opportunities to grow and learn. 

If you could pick one piece of advice to give someone, what would it be?

  • Be courageous to listen to your inner voice because you know – better than anyone else – what’s best for you. 

Why did you go into your field?

  • I fell into my field by a happy accident. I left a position with Caterpillar on the east coast and moved to Denver, wanting to find a job the non-profit sector. To meet people and keep myself busy while I looked, I started volunteering with a couple of organizations, met a wonderful mentor, and eventually landed a job. Through my own volunteering I discovered a career in volunteer management that has provided 17 years of challenge, reward, and wonderful people.