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Barbour brings passion for teaching to Chesapeake

Thursday, June 30, 2005


Kathryn Barbour 

WYE MILLS – Kathryn Barbour is a college administrator who has never lost her love for the classroom.

"When people ask me what I do, I usually tell them I'm a teacher," said Dr. Barbour, who was recently selected to be Chesapeake College's new vice president for academic services. "I really think of myself as an educator. Teaching has been my passion my whole adult life.

"I enjoy teaching at every level from developmental English all through to advanced literature," added Dr. Barbour, who currently serves as vice president for academic affairs at Antelope (Calif.) Valley College. "I love interaction with students."

That passion for teaching is one characteristic that particularly impressed Chesapeake College President Stuart M. Bounds.

"While Dr. Barbour will have responsibility for our whole curriculum, she will be able to connect with our faculty as a colleague," said Dr. Bounds. "Even after she moved into administration she stayed connected as a teacher. She has a great perspective as an active academician who understands both today's students and the teaching/learning environment."

Dr. Barbour, who earned a Ph.D. in English from Binghamton (N.Y.) University, said she discovered the same love of teaching and learning at Chesapeake during the vice presidential interview process.

"One of the things I've been looking for my whole life is a community of learners," said Dr. Barbour. "I was impressed during my visit to Chesapeake that so many people spoke so articulately about student learning, the importance of learning opportunities for faculty and staff, and lifelong learning."

Dr. Barbour has taught at Syracuse University, Cazenovia (N.Y.) College, California State University at Bakersfield, and at Antelope Valley College. She also has 15 years of administrative experience, including service as a division chair, assistant dean, dean and her current post as vice president. In her current position, Dr. Barbour is responsible for providing supervision for the instructional programs and services at Antelope Valley in addition to serving in the president's cabinet.

Dr. Bounds said Dr. Barbour's mix of experience and achievement is exactly what he was seeking in a replacement for Dr. Maurice Hickey, who left Chesapeake to assume the presidency of Clinton (N.Y.) Community College.

"We were searching for someone with a history of innovation and accomplishments," said Dr. Bounds. "She has a record of great achievement in many areas, including student learning and assessment."

Dr. Barbour said several factors led her to seek an administrative post back on the East Coast.

"My daughter will be attending graduate school in Washington, D.C., and Chesapeake College has a great reputation. I'm also looking forward to having access to the kinds of research opportunities available to me by coming back to that area," said Dr. Barbour, whose fields of concentration during her doctoral studies included Shakespeare and Renaissance poetry and prose.

While Dr. Barbour's main focus will be in academic administration, she hopes to continue teaching at an institution where many upper-level administrators – including the president himself – have kept their hands in the classroom.

"I think it sends a very strong message to the college community, and the community at large, that the focus of the institution is student learning," said Dr. Barbour, who received Cazenovia College's Distinguished Faculty Member Teaching Award in 1999. "It speaks very powerfully about the importance of the teaching mission."

Dr. Barbour earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Le Moyne (N.Y.) College and a Master of Arts degree in English from Syracuse University. In between, she earned a pair of philosophy degrees from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium while studying abroad.

Dr. Barbour officially begins her duties at Chesapeake College on August 15.

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