GoDuke.com: What has been your proudest moment at Duke?
Kaitlin Gaiss: My freshman year when I was still planning on redshirting and Mollie [Mackler] had just torn her ACL. I knew that my redshirt year was going to be cut and I just went and worked for the next three days with our goalie coach, Alex Kahoe, and prepared for our game against Georgetown at home. I came out in that game and had a really great game and was definitely proud of myself after that.
GoDuke.com: What has been your favorite part about being a Duke student-athlete?
KG: Definitely my team. That was one of the reasons why I came to Duke. I knew I wanted to be with a group of really great young women who I wouldn't get to know if I didn't play lacrosse. We all have each other's backs when it comes to school or anything lacrosse-related. It's like a family and it's nice to come into college already having a family.
GoDuke.com: What has been your favorite class at Duke?
KG: Any of Tony Brown's classes. Those are always really good. Another one that I was in last semester that I really liked was an upper level public policy class on philanthropy, and that was really cool. It was taught by Ed Skloot who is a great professor.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite spot on campus?
KG: I have a lot of favorite spots. I like the law school Refectory. I love the Nasher Museum - I interned there last year and love spending time there. In the morning I like to wake up early and head straight to Joe Van Gogh, get coffee, and start doing work. Anyone knows that they can find me there at early hours of the day.
GoDuke.com: Are there any words of wisdom you'd like to pass along to freshmen and future Blue Devils?
KG: Try everything, just because you never know what you're going to like. Just because you're a student-athlete, it doesn't mean that you only have to get to know other athletes. You should go out and explore your interests. Over the summer, go to different cities and do random jobs - just whatever you're interested in. Use the summer months to explore where you may want to be after graduation.
GoDuke.com: When did you first start playing lacrosse?
KG: I started in sixth grade and I didn't want to start because I loved soccer, but my mom made me. My parents gave me a stick for Christmas, so I was like, 'Okay, I guess I have to do it now.' My team needed a goalie and they had goalie lessons after practice, so I signed up. Since like my third day, I've been a goalie.
GoDuke.com: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What do you want to be now?
KG: From when I knew how to talk up until I was 10 years old, I would always tell people I wanted to be a paleontologist. But I don't want to be a paleontologist anymore [laughs]. I don't have plans for after graduation, but this [past] summer I was in San Francisco working at a startup and I know I'm definitely going to be out there.
GoDuke.com: What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
KG: I hate doing laundry, even though it's so easy.
GoDuke.com: Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
KG: My parents have always pushed me to be exactly who I am and to do everything that I've wanted to do. They realized early on that I'm a very independent person and they don't try to restrict me. They just push me to go forward, which is nice.
GoDuke.com: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
KG: Travel the world and take cooking classes everywhere I went.
GoDuke.com: If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
KG: I would want to be able to speak every language, so I could understand everybody.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite midnight snack?
KG: Cereal, but if I could have anything it would be frosted animal crackers.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite restaurant in Durham?
KG: If price weren't an option, Piedmont. But since price is a factor, Sushi Love.