After thirty years teaching for Messiah College as Senior Lecturer in Humanities and Director of Supplemental Instruction, Professor Kathleen Quimby of the Communications department bids farewell as she retires this spring. Professor Quimby began as an adjunct and finally, after a number of years working one year at a time, she eventually fulfilled a permanent position. She has held this position since.
“When I was seven years old I remember being very aware of the ‘other’,” said Quimby. “I just had a fascination with people who look different than I did, and that never left me.”
This interest in diversity is expressed in her intercultural communication and ethnic literature classes. These classes help her reveal the evil of racisms and prejudices in a unique and personal style rather than lecturing to her students.
Teaching has always been a passion of Quimby’s since the third grade and she rejoices at being able to wake up and tell herself she gets to teach today. “I have come to know [the students] as individuals,” she said. “It becomes even more of a blessing to be able to interact with the students and see [them] grow, and also to grow from you…it’s a mutual exchange there and I really appreciate that part of my job.”
Her students’ passion and resilient hope that they can make the world a better place will be some of the things she will miss. She treasures the individual relationships that have grown over the years, and is thankful for those who have stayed connected to her throughout the years after graduation.
Her last few words of wisdom to help guide students are words she tells herself:
“Trust the process. Often we want to be beyond our present situation and we want it to be just the way we want it to be and it rarely can be that way immediately. You want to be in the right relationship or the right major but it really is a matter of being honest with yourself about what gives you joy.”