Cabrini College’s founders, The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSCs), played an integral role in Kathleen McKinley, Ph.D., joining the faculty in 1973.
“The MSCs were the most welcoming of all communities,” McKinley remembers.
“The people with whom I had the opportunity to work, the incredibly kind students, the challenging work, and the lovely setting made it a long‑term commitment.”
McKinley says teaching at Cabrini has been so professionally rewarding, partly because she enjoys seeing students take advantage of all the College has to offer.
“The Cabrini experience is available to those students who will come to the College ready to take a few chances, to try something different, to ask questions, to take a semester abroad, to get to know their professors, to look into all of the opportunities presented and to use the college years to gain perspective, experience and knowledge in heart and mind,” McKinley says.
During her years at Cabrini, McKinley says sociology has proven to be a subject that generates much student interest. Students are attracted to the themes dissected in her courses because they can connect the core topics of sociology with current events and issues facing society today.
“There is rarely any difficulty getting student interest when teaching sociology,” McKinley says.
“We deal with interesting topics: class, race, gender, environment, globalization, education, etc. Sociology provides a different spin than the everyday individualistic interpretations we find in the media and in most commentaries.”
Though McKinley’s biggest challenge is catching the attention of her students, helping them bridge gaps can be difficult. She believes an effective method of learning is connecting topics discussed in the classroom to personal experiences.
When the two are successfully fused, McKinley feels the students genuinely have absorbed the lesson.
“My students learn primarily through making connections with their own experience, so part of my job is to make some fairly difficult ideas accessible by providing lots of examples, plenty of opportunity for discussion and a comfortable, friendly, but challenging environment,” McKinley says.
McKinley earned a B.A. from Immaculata College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Wayne, Pa., where she is active in the community in the areas of literacy and housing.
Contact Information:Kathleen M. McKinley, Ph.D.Chair and Professor, SociologyGrace Hall, Room 225 firstname.lastname@example.org