Saying Goodbye to Kathy Strain

Contributed by Deb Font, NVC Writing Across the Curriculum Lab. Kathy Strain passed away on Feb. 10.

Kathy Strain joined NVC as a tutor when the WAC Lab opened in 2009, already having raised a family, coordinated a study abroad program, earned a public relations degree, and done numerous other things it makes me exhausted just to think about. Kathy never just did one thing at a time—she always had several projects going on at once and seemed to have an endless amount of energy.

While tutoring at the WAC Lab, she also wrote for Broadway World, attending shows in San Antonio and Austin, writing reviews and interviewing performers. Broadway musicals were a passion of Kathy’s, and she occasionally worked doing PR for some of the performers she had befriended. She was active with her church and in her community, and she used her deep spirituality to connect with and help people.

In 2017 Kathy and Shelley Friend co-founded the Iron Butterflies Project, dedicated to sharing everyday people’s stories of challenges and triumph in the hopes of inspiring others who are facing challenges themselves. Kathy conducted interviews and wrote beautiful profiles of their “iron butterflies” where her empathy with other people’s struggles and joy at others’ successes always shined through.

If you ever visited the WAC Lab and were greeted by a tiny redhead with a huge smile, that was Kathy. She took such joy in helping students and watching them succeed. Over the years, students frequently came back to the Lab to work with Kathy again, or even just to thank her for all the help she gave them. We are devastated by her loss and can’t imagine what the Lab will feel like without her. Please keep her family in your thoughts.

“To love another person is to see the face of God.” – A quotation from one of Kathy’s favorite musicals, “Les Miserables.”



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