Kathleen McKinney received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982. From 1996 to 2002, she served in an administrative role as Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching at ISU where she supervised the Center staff as well as Opscan Evaluation and the University Assessment Office.
She has had the honor of receiving several teaching awards including Illinois State's College of Arts and Sciences Junior and Senior Distinguished Teacher, Illinois State Outstanding University Teacher, the American Sociological Association’s (ASA) Hans Mauksch award for contributions to undergraduate education, and the ASA Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award. She has taught several courses including Introduction to Sociology, Research Methods, and Social Psychology, to name a few and more recently taught the Sociology Senior Experience course and a graduate seminar on teaching sociology.
She is a social psychologist with interests in relationships, higher education, and college teaching. She has many scholarly publications including several co-authored and edited books, chapters, and dozens of refereed articles mostly in these areas. She served three years as editor of Teaching Sociology, the refereed, national journal of the American Sociological Association and was a member of the ASA Department Resources Group for many years, a group of about 50 sociologists who assist their colleagues around the nation conducting teaching workshops and program reviews, and writing teaching materials.
She has also served as Chair of the ASA Section on Teaching and Learning and is active in the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Her research has culminated in numerous presentations and articles about student learning in her discipline. Books she has written are Enhancing Learning through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in and across the Disciplines.
A strong believer in shared governance and faculty involvement in the university, she tries to provide service to the university at various levels. She is the co-founder (in 2005) and faculty co-advisor to the ISU Equestrian Club. She has served as Chair of a search for the Dean of the College of Education and sat on numerous department, college, and university committees and taskforces over the years. She works with graduate students on their thesis committees and also represents ISU in some of their work with national organizations such as the Carnegie Foundation and the American Association of Higher Education before the latter closed.
She was born in Park Forest, Illinois in 1954 and later moved to Glen Ellyn, IL, graduating from Glenbard West High School. She also lived in Wisconsin while attending the University of Wisconsin and in Oklahoma while working for Oklahoma State University. She is married to her friend and colleague, Robert Wazienski, and has two grown children, a step son Ben and daughter, Claire.