Kathy Menzie, mass media professor, to retire with emeritus status

Autumn Lamp

Kathy Menzie made Washburn University her home 20 years ago and although her retirement is approaching, she will remain connected with the university with her newly appointed emeritus status.

Menzie worked in public relations and became an adjunct professor in visual communications at Washburn University before realizing that she wanted to teach.

She began teaching in the mass media department in 1998 and since then has taught nearly every course the department offers, although her favorite class to teach has been advertising.

“It’s fun to just be creative and come up with good ideas,” Menzie said.

Her favorite part about teaching has been having projects that not only help the students, but also the community.

“[Watching] the students get excited about a project and to really provide an invaluable source to their community, that’s exciting and fun. I love it,” Menzie said.

She became chair of the mass media department, as well as the Academic Affairs Committee, in 2009 and is now happily retiring, having earned emeritus status.

“It’s a nice way to recognize contributions and to say you’re still sort of a valued member of the community,” Menzie said.

Menzie is respected by her peers in the mass media department and beyond.

“Kathy has been the best boss I’ve had to date, and just terrific to work with,” Regina Cassell, mass media lecturer and Student Media adviser said.

Mark Peterson, professor and chair of the political science department, admired how Menzie connected with her students.

“Her wonderful personality, willingness to listen to me gas on about whatever was on my mind, and level-headed approach to learning the WU way kept me out of trouble on numerous occasions,” Peterson said. “We learned from each other on the subject of becoming competent department chairs. We remain great friends and hope to spend many more years kibitzing about doings at WU and crazy state of the world at-large.”

Menzie is involved with the Unitarian Universalist church and she volunteers working with the church on social justice issues. She foresees herself being busy with the quilt guild, and looks forward to having free time to sew and quilt.

“It’s been a joy and a privilege to be here. I already sort of miss it, I miss knowing all of the things that are going on and being a part of everything, but I’m grateful for the time that I’ve had here. I’ve loved almost every minute of it, but I’m also excited to start something new,” Menzie said.