Kathy O’Connor is a highly respected and knowledgeable researcher, professor, and mentor in the anthropology department. She continues to inspire and assist her colleagues in the discipline of bio cultural anthropology through her laboratory, which develops and optimizes collection methods and assays for reproductive ecology research. Kathy consistently goes above and beyond her required responsibilities as a professor to promote positive and memorable learning experiences in the classroom through her passionate lectures, constructive feedback on coursework, flexibility to meet with students outside of class time, and encouragement for students to express themselves.
In addition to creating a fun and intellectual learning environment, Kathy is incredibly accommodating to and supportive of students looking for more challenging learning opportunities. She, for instance, has mentored many students on their independent research projects and has also been an adviser for students in the departmental honors program. Through her dedicated mentor-ship and resourcefulness, students learn how to practice “good science” in lab work and other projects, write excellent scientific papers, and analyze and critique scientific literature.
Her relentless support furthermore encourages her students to go the extra mile with their work via publishing a paper, presenting at the university’s annual undergraduate research symposium, continuing their research in graduate school, etc. Thanks to Kathy, reproductive ecology researchers are able to increase the efficacy of their lab methods, and several students have been afforded valuable opportunities and resources to pursue their academic passions and have felt empowered to make a difference in the world with their research.