LACEY, Wash. – Saint Martin’s University is pleased to welcome Kathleen M. “Kate” Boyle, Ph.D., as its new dean of the University’s College of Education and Counseling Psychology. As dean, she oversees the University’s broad range of undergraduate and certification programs, three master’s programs and post-master’s certification programs. Some 283 students are currently enrolled in the College’s programs.
“Kate was a first choice for everybody who met her because she brings deep experience of Catholic higher education, impressive expertise in her field and inspiring leadership skills to her role as dean of the College of Education and Counseling Psychology,” said Saint Martin’s Provost Molly Smith, Ph.D. “I am excited to have her join us and my team, and look forward to working closely with her to advance the College and Saint Martin’s.
Boyle brings to Saint Martin’s a rich and varied experience in academia that ranges from extensive administrative, teaching and research background to service in the area of student affairs earlier in her career.
She comes to Saint Martin’s from the University of St. Thomas, in Minneapolis, Minn., where she was chair for St. Thomas’ department of educational leadership, an interdisciplinary academic department that served some 600 students each year in 15 degree programs and in licensure and certificate programs.
At St. Thomas, she also taught in its leadership doctoral program and directed its Master of Arts in Leadership in Student Affairs Program. Prior to her post at St. Thomas, she was a visiting assistant professor in educational leadership and policy studies and coordinator of master’s programs in higher education and student affairs at Indiana University.
Boyle’s first professional post in academia was as a residence hall director at St. Norbert College in DePere, Wis., where she had earlier earned her undergraduate degree in psychology. Positions at Mankato State University, Marquette University and the Indiana University of Pennsylvania developed her interest in student affairs and education leadership studies.
Boyle earned her master’s degree in counseling and student personnel from Minnesota State University – Mankato with an emphasis on college student development. Her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies – higher education administration, was granted from Indiana University – Bloomington. She has completed numerous publications and presentations in her field and has received many awards. Among her recent honors are St. Thomas’ Common Good Award and the Minnesota College Personnel Association’s Linda Schrempp Alberg Award for Outstanding Contributions to Minnesota Higher Education.
Boyle thinks of herself as a “teacher-scholar-administrator,” she says. While her experiences have been diverse, they all enabled her to work closely with students in some way, she adds.
“I love to work directly with students one-on-one, whether it is in student affairs, as an advisor or as an academic,” she says. “When I came to Saint Martin’s, I requested a student to take me on a tour of campus. My approach is that I don’t take a job until I can meet with the university’s students and learn about their true experience there.”
She considers Saint Martin’s a place where she can use her skills to help the University expand its education programs and also work closely with students, faculty and staff. As a Catholic, she said she also was attracted to the Benedictine ideas of community and balance that underpin Saint Martin’s.
Boyle and her parents, former missionaries who now live with her, have relatives in the Northwest. A Midwesterner who feels a strong commitment to cultural diversity, Boyle said she is excited about all she may learn living in a different region of the country.
“I recognize that this appreciation of different experiences, perspectives and backgrounds enhances our work as educators and our ability to create partnerships and professional collaborations within our greater public community. I am excited to explore what this experience in the Northwestern United States would offer as opposed to the upper Midwest.”