Michael J. Allen, PhD

Michael J. Allen, PhD

Assistant Professor

Towson University


Dr. Kate McAnulty and I first met in 2010 when she joined Kent State University as Assistant Dean of the Division of Graduate Studies. One of her primary duties included serving as the adviser to the Graduate Student Senate. Serving on the Executive Board first as Symposium Chairperson (2010 – 2012) and later as Executive Chairperson (2012 – 2014), Kate and I regularly interacted to discuss graduate student issues on campus. Kate recognized my strengths and offered constructive support when necessary. In addition to managing travel awards and research grants, we planned three annual Graduate Research Symposiums together, giving voice to graduate students and showcasing transformational research ongoing across campus.


At Kent, Dr. McAnulty prioritized mentorship and professional training, formalizing Graduate Student Orientation (GSO). In this program, student mentors provided tiered training for incoming graduate students, answered questions, and provided perspective on the graduate experience. To promote thought-provoking dialogue, Kate created the Complex Conversations monologues. The series included professional ethics scenarios that graduate students could face on campus and fostering a safe, inclusive environment for group discussion and self-exploration. Throughout the academic year, Kate also developed professional training workshops focusing on such things as interviewing and grant writing. GSO established interdisciplinary peer networks for graduate students and strengthened the sense of graduate student community on campus.


Mentorship comes in various forms, and Dr. Kate McAnulty provided me with valuable insight beyond my academic program. Without a doubt, my experience working with Dr. Kate McAnulty was one of my fondest memories of my six years at Kent State University. A tireless advocate for graduate students, it is impossible to equate the impact of her guidance and direction on my professional career. 

Elizabeth M. Cassady, PhD

Elizabeth M. Cassady, PhD

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services and Student Success

Ivy Tech Community College


Dr. McAnulty was a key influence in my decision to pursue graduate education.  When I was considering a transition from classroom teaching in secondary education to a Master’s degree in higher education, my initial exploratory meeting with Dr. McAnulty was marked by her warmth, confidence, and keen listening skills.  She helped assuage my concerns about not just going back to school but also making a significant career transition.  She inspired me to think through all of the opportunities graduate education would open up for me. I was very overwhelmed at the time about the admissions process, financial aid, assistantships, and all of the large school processes I was facing in this decision.  Dr. McAnulty always listened for as long as I needed, offered feedback, and identified the next steps while providing enough latitude for me to take ownership of the process.  Even though the University of Louisville is a large school with a graduate student load to match, I always felt significant to Dr. McAnulty.


Ever since that meeting over a decade ago, Dr. McAnulty has been a colleague that I have admired and looked to for ongoing support and feedback.  She is incredibly insightful in her appraisal of trends and demands in the field of higher education.  Not only is she a brilliant sounding board, Dr. McAnulty immediately puts others around her at ease and empowers students and peers to strive for excellence in all areas of their lives.

Bridgett A. King, PhD

Bridgett A. King, PhD

Associate Professor

University of Kentucky


I met Kate when I was in my PhD program at Kent State University. In addition to being a student, once I completed my coursework and began my dissertation, I accepted a full-time job. As a PhD student, I did not experience any problems with my graduate experience as I had a department and committee that supported what I wanted to do as a professional. I also made professional connections that I still rely on today.  Despite having different dissertation chairs due to faculty members changing universities, I eventually finished my dissertation and had a successful defense. Where I did have challenges was navigating my professional life on campus.

As much as I loved my job, as I got closer to completing my doctoral degree, it because increasingly apparent that I required more support of the PhD part of my identity and the professional I was becoming. I encountered barriers when attempting to make myself marketable in the academic job market largely because of an unsupportive supervisor.

Kate, the Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, was my colleague and my friend. She was also often the first person I would rely on for council. On more than one occasion, I would send her a text or instant message that read, “Are you busy?” or “We need to schedule a lunch.” Over those lunches or our meetings in her office, I would explain what I was experiencing. Without fail, she would provide me with suggestions to navigate my work environment, thoughts about university resources, and general encouragement. She helped me navigate through extreme, politically polarized situations in the best possible way.


Now, as a tenured faculty member and program director, I still rely on conversations with Kate to help me think through how to navigate new challenges as they present themselves. If I could only say one thing about Kate, she understands success looks different for different people. And the definition of success for the individual she is working with is what she will support them in achieving.

Alicia Lanz, PhD

Alicia Lanz, PhD

Prize Postdoctoral Fellow

Carnegie Observatories

Kate was incredibly helpful in demystifying the many constructive ways my institute’s administration could help me navigate and resolve difficulties with my research advisor. Since she has experience from a variety of institutions, she was able to bring new ideas and solutions that weren’t previously common at my institute. She is familiar with many of the common “academic personality types” and has many specific suggestions of how to reframe or understand interactions with an advisor or collaborator, and has a long list of possible approaches she can help you plan and try out in response. Her attentive yet calm demeanor is also quite refreshing; I always felt Kate listened to me and really thought about whatever issue I brought to her attention.


As the advisor to the Graduate Student Council, Kate met weekly with me in my role as Chair and helped me translate student issues and concerns into actionable progress. Kate helped us build bridges between the dean and average students to improve the student-faculty-administration relationships and identify ways the administration could make simple tweaks to improve student well being (increase access to mental health care by better advertising and new locations for drop-in mental health care; improve relations with campus security through social events and better advertising of safety escort services after late nights in the lab; formalizing monthly interactions between the Graduate Student Council and the Dean of Graduate Studies). Kate also was available to listen to more general concerns and provide a helping hand by making connections to key faculty members, such as department chairs, so we could raise local issues with appropriate departments. Kate was instrumental in creating a constructive, positive dialogue among many parts of students, faculty, staff, and administration.

Erica Morgan, MS

Erica Morgan, MS

High School Physics Teacher


I started working with Kate through Caltech’s Graduate Orientation Team during which she was one of the lead organizers as the associate dean and I was a volunteer grad student on the team. In this more professional setting, I found Kate to be an effective and empowering leader. The team itself was a fun and friendly space and I feel that Kate played an important part in cultivating that environment while also keeping everyone organized and productive. Relative to many other experiences with Caltech administration, I found Kate to be an excellent source of support.


Following my time on the Graduate Orientation Team, I looked to Kate for support on a more personal level. Switching away from academia towards counseling and social work, I was in need of career advice that most connections I had in the science world weren’t able to provide. Knowing that Kate’s background was in student affairs rather than scientific research, I reached out. In doing so, I felt incredibly accepted and supported in my decision to switch careers. These conversations helped to affirm my decision which I was otherwise hesitant about. I’m grateful to Kate for being a source of support during my time in graduate school, and I’m happy to know she’ll be a great support for others in the future.