Education is fundamental to the of development one’s life.
Kay Hannahan knows this well.
Hannahan is a first-year professor in the Mass Communication department at Winona State University.
She got into teaching after graduating college at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
After graduating, she returned home to Minnesota where she later joined AmeriCorps in their welfare to work program.
In this program she taught immigrants “how to write a resume and how to interview.”
She enjoyed volunteering and said made connections and taught people valuable life skills.
Hannahan then joined the Peace Corps where Hannahan “taught English in a really small village school.”
One of her memorable moments while in Peace Corps in Bulgaria, was when she was walking down the street with fellow Peace Corp members when some of her students stopped to say hello to them in English in what sounded like a Minnesota accent.
From there, Hannahan went to graduate school at Temple University in Philadelphia where she taught as an assistant in the film program.
After spending time on the east coast and outside the United States, she returned to Minnesota in 2019 to look for teaching jobs.
Then in March of 2020 a day before the declaration of the pandemic she gave birth to her son Duke.
Not only was Hannahan juggling finding a job she said, “I always joke that there’s no postpartum book that tells you how to be a mother during a pandemic.”
Shortly after her baby was born, she was officially hired on to be a part of WSU’s Mass Communication department in June 2020.
She had to deal with the pandemic and being a new mother, Hannahan choose to have an online delivery mode for her WSU classes this year.
At first, she felt online teaching was going to be inferior to teaching in person.
She said she found it could be helpful in some ways.
Natalie Tyler, a fourth-year student at WSU and current student of Hannahan.
Said her experience in Hannahan’s online course was positive, “I love that she actually goes through all of the assignments more in detail and she shows you know what students are supposed to do and how to actually edit each project,” Tyler said.
Hannahan said she liked Zoom’s capabilities because “when you’re teaching editing software, you have the ability to record to lecture.”
Alek LaShomb, a fourth-year student at WSU has had two classes with Hannahan said that the recorded lectures were helpful because he ran into an issue with Adobe Premier Software and the recorded lecture helped him figure it out.
LaShomb said, “If we’re in person, that’s something I’d have to wait until the next class session, or I’d have to email her about”
Hannahan said camera equipment tutorials would work better in person than Zoom.
So in the future she intends to have them in-person.
Next year, she looks forward to the introduction of her new course the Living History Project which will be a collaboration with WSU’s Retiree Center.
Hannahan said, “I’m excited to explore more of Winona and to see my students more often face-to-face.”
LaShomb spoke on what Hannahan adds to the Mass Communications faculty. “I think she’ll be a good face for that new guard that’s gonna be coming through the Mass Comm department” LaShomb said.