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accents on english | fall 18-spring 19

Katherine Heenan (1963-2019)

Katherine Heenan, a principal lecturer in the Department of English, passed away on March 23, 2019. She had joined the department in 1999, and was in her twentieth year teaching at ASU.

Heenan was born and raised in Chico, California. She graduated from Live Oak High School in 1981, and she earned her BA and MA the Chico State University and her PhD at the University of Connecticut-Storrs. Here at ASU, Heenan quickly became known not only for her warmth and friendliness, but also for her technological savvy, and for her work implementing the use of digital portfolios within the Writing Programs via Digication.

Heenan taught numerous Writing Programs classes over the years, including English 105 and WAC. She loved her job…and it showed. She spent countless hours assembling innovative and inspiring assignments for her students and mentoring others to do the same. Heenan took student writing seriously, responding extensively to their work through a variety of different media, including recorded audio comments. Her students appreciated the time and thought she always put into her classes and assignments. She was without question an exceptional teacher and mentor.

Furthermore, Heenan was both a cat person and a dog person—she loved animals and had many pets, pictures of whom she kept in her office.  (Mostly notably, her two cats, Rocky and Monty). Heenan was a great friend: refreshingly open, honest, and down-to-earth. She enjoyed The X-Files, the UConn Huskies—especially the women’s basketball team—good beer, and nights in the hot tub under the stars with her husband. Her unique generosity of spirit and sense of humor will be greatly missed.

—Elizabeth Lowry

Image: The Department of English hosted a celebration of Heenan’s life at Old Main’s Carson Ballroom on April 13. Her family requested that those wishing may make donations in her name to the American Cancer Society, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), or the Humane Society.