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Dr. Molly Kerby
I completed my undergraduate degree in sociology and environmental science in 1994 and my master’s degree in public health, community education, in 1999 – both at Western Kentucky University. I also have graduate certificates in Women’s Studies and Community College Faculty Preparation. I received my PhD in higher education administration from the University of Louisville in 2007.
I have been teaching for almost 12 years at the university level. In the fall of 1999, I taught my first women’s studies courses at Western Kentucky University and found a passion for the field of gender studies, the Women’s Studies Program, and, above all, serving students as well as the community. In the last few years, my educational and research interests have focused primarily on issues pertaining to a) sustainability and the politics of food production and consumption in terms of gender and justice and b) teaching pedagogies in the age of technology. My most recent research and publication projects include a) a dialogue with vegan feminist, activist/author Carol J. Adams to appear in an anthology edited by Alice Gensberg, b) a chapter in a book dealing with cyber pedagogies, and c) a qualitative and quantitative behavioral study in Gales Point, Belize. My last publications appeared in AIDS Education and Prevention, 2003, 15(5) and the Journal of Lesbian Studies, 2005, 9(3). The latter was also published as a chapter in a book entitled Making Lesbians Visible in the Substance Use Field, edited by Elizabeth Ettorre (Plymouth University). My long-term goal is to write a book dealing with food production and consumption among poor women in the U.S. and abroad.
In addition to my interests in traditional classroom teaching, I am the research director for a service-abroad project sponsored by the College of Health and Human service at WKU in Gales Point, Belize. I have a sincere interest in educating students outside the classroom as well as within. One of my goals is to create a women-centered, social justice program that will coordinate efforts to allow students to travel to other communities and countries in a service-learning capacity. Gender-related issues that affect our global neighbors have a direct effect on our nation, and it is imperative that our students learn how and why these relationships exist. There is a growing need and demand in every field for students to have an understanding of the concept of stewardship and sustainability.
Outside the classroom I frequently work with diverse campus and community groups to bridge departments and programs with the larger community. Two of my most rewarding roles at WKU are as a faculty advisor to student groups and as a faculty sponsor of campus events. In my role as a faculty sponsor, I coordinate two major campus events every year: Earth Day/Ecofeminis, Festival (formerly Diversity Rocks) and Rock the Vote. Both events have a wide civic impact on students, faculty, and staff across campus. I believe that students who participate in extra-curricular activities learn a great deal more about leadership skills, conflict resolution, cooperation, and team-building than those who do not get involved. Keeping with my belief that faculty should interact with and act as role models for students, I co-founded the Faculty Staff Alliance (FSOA) in the spring of 2005. The FSOA is an ally group created to support Student Identity Outreach group (an LGBTQQ and allies network) as well as ensure that gay and lesbian faculty and staff are provided a safe and nondiscriminatory work environment, afforded equable partner benefits, and recognized as vital part of the campus community.
Aside from scholarly interests and activities, I enjoy music, gardening, cooking, activism, sports (especially women’s basketball), and KAYAKING! I love the outdoors, nature, the beach, biking, boating, camping, and I am addicted to yoga and swimming. I am the proud parent of 5 dogs (Chloe, Buster, Buddy, and Tess) and 5 cats (Cody, LeilaBelle, Gert, Velvet, and Sam). I am also the co-owner of a deli called Greener Groundz Coffee & café.
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GWS Adjunct Faculty