Jovial, good-natured Bush a whirlwind of activity at UDM
Various knick-knacks, novelties, bumper stickers and magnets deck the shelves and cabinets of Kathleen Bush's office.
A George W. Bush doll and an inflatable figure of the 43rd U.S. president sit on the windowsill. Clipped-out cartoons and stickers - one reading "Goodbye, Kitty" and another saying "Canada: America done right" - decorate her door. On the desk is a pencil-filled mug that asks, "What Would Jenna Drink?"
"That was a joke when I used to smoke," she said of a door tag that reads, "This a work-free smoke place."
Bush, associate dean of liberal arts and education, has been a familiar face at UDM for many years. She is described as "kind," "very bright" and " very compassionate," but she is more than what others think of her.
Bush has many titles, including teacher, colleague, parishioner and academic advisor.
She was born and raised on Detroit's West Side, but she spent some time in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada, where her mother and relatives live.
Ronald Naski, a UDM academic adviser, has known Bush since high school. They both attended Bishop Borgess High School in Redford, Mich.
"Kathy is energetic, caring and extremely student-oriented," Naski said."She is an excellent problem-solver. She lights up the room when she walks in."
Before she became a UDM professor in 1990, Bush herself was a student from 1974 to 1978.
Karen Gorman, academic evaluator and adviser, has known Bush since 1988, when Gorman was a student working at the university. She often recommends that students have Bush as an instructor.
"She is a very special professor," Gorman added.
In 2001, Bush was made associate dean, but she continues to teach.She teaches two courses that she created: a Canadian history course offered every winter semester and a history of American women course offered in the summer.
Bush has another job, too. Just as Alex Trebek is the host of NBC's "Jeopardy," Bush is host of UDM's weekly radio quiz show, "Ask the Professor."
Tom Stanton, journalism professor, has appeared as a guest on the program.
"Kathy is a dynamo," he said. "She is a very encouraging presence."
When not working in her trinket-laden office, Bush enjoys traveling, reading and walking. In addition, she loves sports. Her favorites include hockey, soccer and rugby.
"I love all of them," she said.
In regards to retirement, the lady with enormous patience and a great sense of humor affirmed she is not like those who intend to work until they drop.
"I would like to do the same things as I do, but I want to volunteer," she added.
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