Staff Profile: Kathleen Murphy, Department of History
“The people most of all. The faculty are easy to work with, and I really enjoy getting to know the history students. The history students come from many different places and circumstances. I like to hear what they think and what they hope to do in the future. And sometimes, they stay in touch with us so we get to watch them grow into their adult lives.”
Kathleen came to the Department of History 15 years ago when her and her husband relocated to Richmond from outside of San Francisco. She had previously worked at Stanford University in the Department of Psychiatry's Behavioral Medicine Clinic and in the Dance Division. (More on her love of dance in a bit.) As the administrative coordinator, Kathleen handles a variety of tasks, everything from HR and fiscal matters to event planning, website updates and building maintenance requests. In 2016, she received the College of Humanities and Sciences Staff Leadership Award. “That award was a vote of confidence,” Kathleen said. And most recently, Kathleen, along with colleague Andrew Wight, received an award from VCU Web Services for greatly improving ADA compliance on the Department of History’s website.
What else to know about Kathleen? She loves to dance. In college, Kathleen took ballroom dancing classes and later trained to be a ballroom dancing instructor. When she worked at Stanford, she organized and taught social dance during the school year and adult dance camps during the summer. “We had fabulous events for the students -- a Viennese Ball in the winter, a Ragtime Ball in the fall, and an all-night spring dance,” she said. Though Kathleen doesn’t ballroom dance any longer, she still finds time to get on the dance floor. Currently, she takes a class, “Rhythm and Motion,” at the Richmond Ballet, which sets choreographed routines to popular music.