Katharine O’Connor Joins MC Health science faculty 


By Mattis Ahlgrimm 

Growing up on a farm with over 500 greyhounds, Katharine O’Connor said herself that she doesn’t necessarily think she had a very typical American childhood. The new assistant professor in the Department of Health Science has not only a rather special personal background but also a quite impressive educational background, having earned several degrees on both bachelor’s and master’s level at Kansas State University. After finishing her studies in psychology, gerontology and occupational therapy, she started working at a hospital at the age of 25 and has been working in patient therapy ever since. Although she always wanted to experience the challenge of being a professor eventually, she didn’t particularly plan on starting to teach at McPherson College. Mostly due to personal connections, she then rather spontaneously decided to embark on this adventure this summer. Having a great variety of young adults regardless of their major in her classes, she “really like[s] getting to know students [and] what their dreams and aspirations are,” she said. She always thought that a good relationship with her own professors helped her be more ambitious during her own time in college, so she tries to be there for her students and assist them in tapping into their full potential. “College is a huge transition [and] just making sure that they have the support they need – I really hope they feel that from us [teachers],”she said. Not only does she like to maintain more personal relationships with her students but she also enjoys being challenged by clever questions and doing deeper research on her own. O’Connor still works part-time at the hospital. In this regard, she said that this schedule suits her way better than the one before, because she actually has the time “to get things done” and spend more time with her family. Despite being a professor for Holistic Health, she shamelessly includes both brownies and ice-cream in her perfect hypothetical meal and admits that if she had to choose, she would only listen to Bob Dylan for the rest of her life. With her open-minded personality and kind, supportive manner, she seems to be a perfect fit for McPherson College.