Ruthie attended Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin earning a B.S. in art and graphic design. While in college, she spent two semesters abroad attending Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic and Scuola Leonardo DaVinci in Rome, Italy. Before starting her graduate studies, she ran a successful private practice in sculpture conservation doing contract work for various outsi- der art environments and museum collections. Ruthie also completed pre-program work at PARMA Conservation, Ltd. in Chicago and the University of Wisconsin Memorial Library in Madison.