Originally from Montana, Kay was a career educator who placed great emphasis on advancing teaching excellence for the benefit of all learners. As a first-generation college student herself, she deeply believed in the critical role of public education. She devoted her life to the improvement of education at every level, from pre-K to doctoral programs, and her positive impact extends far beyond her own students and colleagues.
As center director, Kay elevated the status of CTL and significantly strengthened ties with other OSU academic and administrative units. Among many important projects during her tenure, she worked with CTL colleagues to establish Teaching Talks as a flagship program, to create popular quarterly teaching symposia, and to build a robust culture of faculty learning communities to provide effective long-term professional development. Her Six Principles of University Teaching are part of a legacy that will continue to benefit faculty and professional development providers for years to come.
Kay was beloved for her engaging smile and quick laughter. She was undaunted in her advocacy for greater support and professional development opportunities for teaching faculty. Kay was always willing to engage in collegial debate to advance programs and policies to benefit teaching faculty and their students. Her breadth of knowledge about educational research was extraordinary, and she applied her extensive understanding of the literature to support evidence-based practices as the foundation of CTL’s work.
At CTL, we are grateful to have had the opportunity to know and work with Kay. As she dealt with cancer in the final year of her life, she showed enormous grace and maintained an upbeat outlook that she shared with family, friends and other caregivers. She will be deeply missed.
Contact Jeanna.Towns@oregonstate.edu for information about a gathering to celebrate Kay’s life.