Kate joined the UP faculty in 1995 and wasted no time in becoming one of the most popular and respected professors on campus. She served as program director for the Spanish section from 1995 to 2007. Among her many tasks was the revitalization and development of the UP Spanish language program, which at the time of her hiring had two students enrolled. By 2007 the Spanish major had 60 students enrolled, and in 2013-2014 boasted 119. Kate served as chair of the foreign languages department (now international languages and cultures) from 2007 to 2010, and from 2010 to the present served as chair of the Collaborative in International Studies and Global Outreach (CISGO).
She earned her B.A. from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1981; her M.A., ibid, in 1983; and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1995. Before starting at UP she was a lecturer in Spanish at Southwest Missouri State University (1983-1987), and served as an assistant professional specialist at the University of Notre Dame (1991-1995).
Listing Kate’s many academic accolades and accomplishments would take more space than is available here, but many of Kate’s colleagues and friends warmly remember her recognition as the national U.S Professor of the Year for Master’s and Comprehensive Universities in the United States by the Carnegie and Case Foundation in 2000. She also won the 2013 Dean’s Award for Faculty Leadership, awarded annually by the University’s deans to a tenured faulty member who exemplifies, in an extraordinary way, the qualities of teaching and scholarship.
While Kate’s loss has dealt an undeniable professional blow to our campus community, it is her passion and love of teaching, her unending energy and compassion, her complete and utter devotion to her students, colleagues, and friends (who wasn’t Kate’s friend, really?), her generosity in sharing her many gifts, and of course her perpetual ear-to-ear smile we will miss most. The woman had charisma to spare.