Fund established in late professor’s memory

Kathy Harris speaking at a podium

P

rofessor Kathy Harris devoted much of her life to making Quinnipiac a place for students to learn and grow personally and professionally.

Harris, who served as chair and program director of the physical therapy department, died in April following a brief illness. To celebrate her life and the many accomplishments she has made at Quinnipiac, the university has established the Katherine Harris Professional Development Fund to ensure both her memory and work lives on.

Through the fund, students, alumni, faculty and clinical partners will benefit from professional development activities, such as speakers, conferences and educational programs that speak to her passion for the physical therapy program and for professional leadership and advocacy for the profession.

Harris joined the Quinnipiac family in 2003 as assistant professor of physical therapy. She chaired the Faculty Senate from 2010–13 and served as interim advocate for the university curriculum from 2013–15.

She also was active and well-respected for her leadership and service in the physical therapy community. She was a longtime member of the Connecticut Physical Therapy Association and was recognized for contributions to her profession as a recipient of the association’s Lucy Blair award for exceptional service.

In October, the Quinnipiac community gathered, along with Harris’ family, to remember her with an outdoor celebration of life near the pond on the North Haven Campus. 

During the ceremony, Professor Tracy Wall said Harris always made time to balance life with work and family.

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“Remembering the simple things and taking the next adventure without hesitation are just two of the many things about Kathy that we can not only cherish, but learn from as we continue on our paths,” she said.

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Wall said Harris’ former students know well how fiercely passionate and devoted she was to their education and to life-long learning. “I know she was honored to be your professor, mentor, colleague, and friend.”

“Kathy was our leader, our educator, and most importantly our friend,” said Matt Dolan DPT ’21. “Her ways of inspiring others and impact on this entire program transcends classes of students and will be present on this campus for years to come.”

To learn how you can contribute, please visit Katherine Harris Professional Development Fund.