Dr. Kim (Markoff) Rubin ’04

Dr. Kim Rubin '04

I never really felt accepted before I walked on to the Eagle Hill campus,” said Rubin, mother of three, proud wife, and an entrepreneur and sole practitioner of Rubin Psychological Services in Michigan.

Dr. Kim (Markoff) Rubin ’04 wanted to be a part of things, but as a young student, never really understood where she fit in. Starting off shy like many students, Eagle Hill School helped her become more confident in who she was.

“I remember coming to Eagle Hill has always felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. Looking back, Eagle Hill was the first place where I felt accepted by peers and teachers.”

Kim attributes Eagle Hill to much of her success today. She recalls her experience at Eagle Hill as being the pivotal turning point in her life.

“Prior to Eagle Hill, I had little ambition. I had never truly felt successful in an academic environment. Eagle Hill represented the first time I felt that teachers and peers understood me. As I began to experience academic and social success, my motivation to be successful in other areas increased,” said Rubin.

Graduating from Eagle Hill School, Rubin knew she wanted an academic environment that would positively support her and continue her educational growth. After a brief stint at another college, Rubin was accepted into the Honors College at the University of Connecticut. There, she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a 3.8 GPA.

“The confidence and academic support I received at Eagle Hill was a major factor in my decision to pursue a Ph.D. after college. I thank my lucky stars that my parents invested in my future by sending me to Eagle Hill. Looking back, the decision to send me to EHS (at the time) was a path to alleviate my academic struggles associated with having AD/HD. However, as I step back and reflect on my experience, I realize how much the EHS community also empowered me on a social-emotional level and gave me the confidence to persevere through times of difficulty. Thanks to EHS, I’ve learned how to use my AD/HD symptoms to my advantage rather than seeing them as barriers to success. For example, my tendency to “think outside the box” used to be a disadvantage in school as I used this skill to avoid having to do homework or study. My AD/HD thinking style is now a big part of why I’m successful occupationally. I’ve had to reinvent the wheel many times, which has allowed me to develop unique ways to help children and their families in a similar fashion as EHD did for my family.

After receiving her Master of Science Degree in Education and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree from Indiana University, she went on to complete her residency at The Southern Illinois University School of Medicine specializing in child clinical psychology. While affiliated with SIU, Rubin provided a variety of assessment and intervention services to infants, children, and adolescents. Additionally, she worked with the Springfield, Illinois Public School System helping children experiencing learning and behavioral issues within a classroom setting. After receiving her Ph.D., Kim decided to do an optional post-doctoral fellowship. Many of her peers from graduate school were ready to enter the field but Kim wanted to soak up as much experience as possible to be able to serve a range of families in need. Kim completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Children’s Center of Wayne County in the Autism Services Program. While at the Children’s Center, she provided comprehensive autism evaluations and behavioral treatment.

After receiving full licensure through the state of Michigan to practice psychology, Kim took a gamble and decided to open her own private practice. Kim suspected she was capable of running a successful practice drastically different from those in her area. Rather than rendering run-of-the-mill individual and family therapy, Kim felt families would benefit even greater if she built a “support network” for each patient and their family. Kim didn’t want families to feel alone in the process, thus she made it her mission to develop an interdisciplinary team approach for each patient so multiple providers could collaborate and work together to help a struggling family. Kim strongly believes children and their families heal quicker when multiple professionals are working on their cases as a team. 

“I believed that the type of services I could provide was more comprehensive than other practices in my area. The business was slow at first, but I was determined to be successful and vowed to not give up my practice without a fight.”

“I worked really hard to generate referrals in the beginning. To this day, I have not spent a penny on advertising. I take pride in knowing that my practice is successful because of the ground-breaking services that I provide. To this day, 95% of my referrals come from physicians in my area. I have seen people bring referral lists to my office their pediatrician provided them; I notice that often my name is starred, circled, or highlighted by the provider. Patients will tell me ‘My pediatrician told me that you’re incredible am worth the investment. They told me that it would be better to wait on your waitlist rather than going to another provider with immediate openings,’” said Rubin.

Dr. Rubin's clinical approach allows for parents' insights to guide how she incorporates evidence-based practices. She evaluates an intervention's effectiveness not only through the outcomes it produces, but also by the feasibility, consistency, and ease of the process itself. She believes an intervention's functional criteria are best assessed by those that implement it; typically, this involves the members of a child's family or school. Her approach devotes extensive attention towards ensuring the considerations and concerns of these parties are continuously addressed with care. She facilitates these collaborative conversations through adaptive flexibility of her role whether it be listener or liaison, advocate or advisor, counselor or consultant along with an innate sensitivity that determines which role is best for a given situation.

Her work demonstrates that this ample availability is powerfully conducive to the success of the child and the wellbeing of their supporting community. Rubin’s dedication to cross-channel communication is what distinguishes her as a practitioner, and by uniting her expansive clinical expertise, forms a distinctive cornerstone of her practice.

Kim strongly credits Eagle Hill School for helping her be the practitioner that she is today. Kim noted how the qualities of her teachers at Eagle Hill were instrumental in helping her overcome challenges at the time.

 “I remember having mentors and friends at Eagle Hill School like Ken Leyva (resident counselor), Dana Harbert (director of admission), Cindy Coughlin (athletic director), Jason Pryzpek (EHS teacher). and Jenna Hubacz (dean of faculty). I find myself occasionally reflecting on the approaches Eagle Hill teachers used with me, especially when I’m working with challenging families. Most notably, EHS faculty members never gave up on me—ever. When I was resistant to help, they always found a way to meet my needs.”

To Dr. Michael Riendeau, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs, it is no surprise that Rubin has continued to thrive in many aspects of her life.

“When I remember Kim as a high school student, what comes to mind first is her unwavering drive for excellence, supported by her unflagging resilience. These are followed quickly by memories of her infectious enthusiasm for learning and her expressions of genuine joy in encountering new ideas,” said Riendeau.

This enthusiasm most recently led Dr. Rubin to land on The Well and JN’s 36 Under 36, a distinctive honor that recognizes the amazing impact she has had on her community.

Today, Rubin balances her busy work life with her amazing family, including her three children, Reece, Brooks, and Chase, and her husband, Mike.

With all of her amazing success, Rubin still feels a special place in her heart for Eagle Hill School.

“I grew so much at EHS, and I’m so happy to be able to give back in any way I can to the school that helped me grow. It’s such a special place, I’m excited to see students continuing to thrive and learn how to advocate for themselves just like I learned how to at EHS.”

Dr. Rubin continues to dedicate her life to ensuring children and young adults have the same opportunities and personal growth she did, always representing the very best of what it means to be an alum of Eagle Hill School.