LAWRENCE — The longtime director of the Emily Taylor Resource Center for Women & Gender Equity at the University of Kansas will retire at the end of the fiscal year.
Kathy Rose-Mockry will retire from the university June 30. As director of the Emily Taylor Center since 1998, she has developed and presented innovative and significant programs.
“Kathy has had an important impact on the university and Lawrence community through her leadership of the Emily Taylor Center,” said Jennifer Hamer, vice provost for diversity & equity. “She has been mindful of the evolving needs of our campus community and been both proactive and responsive in creative ways. I am grateful for her many contributions.”
Under Rose-Mockry’s direction, the center has developed collaborative efforts and established programs that have helped the university stay abreast of challenges facing students. She’s credited with creating KU’s first sexual assault response policy in 2001. She lobbied for the creation of a CARE coordinator position at KU for survivors of sexual assault. In 2009, the center established the Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series, which bears the name of KU law student Jana Mackey, a victim of domestic violence who was murdered in 2008. The program has brought in nationally known speakers, including Lilly Ledbetter, Melissa Harris-Perry and Tamika Mallory.
In 2004, Rose-Mockry led the creation of the KU Women of Distinction Calendar in response to a sexually charged, swimsuit-style commercial calendar. The WoD calendar, which was published between 2004 and 2017, challenged stereotypes that objectify women and minimize their accomplishments as empowered leaders and trailblazers. She also oversaw the launch of several initiatives that strove to redefine what it means to be a man, including the annual Men of Merit poster and Men and Masculinities programming to address toxic masculinity. She has been integral to the development of programs and services for pregnant and parenting students, staff and faculty, including the creation and coordination of campuswide lactation rooms and other service resources.
Rose-Mockry has had a varied career that has drawn upon her background in music as well as her interest in higher education. She has worked as a music therapist at both the San Antonio State Hospital and at the Camarillo State Mental Hospital in California. She has a bachelor’s degree in music education from KU. Her early roles at KU have varied widely, serving as a teaching assistant, a counselor for the Adult Life Resource Center and in various roles within Student Housing. In 1984, she earned a master’s degree in education counseling from KU. From 1984 to 1998, Rose-Mockry worked with the Women’s Resource Center at the University of California Los Angeles. She served as director of the center for seven years before returning to KU to lead the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity. In 2015, Rose-Mockry completed a doctorate in educational leadership & policy studies from KU.
During the past 20 years, Rose-Mockry has overseen KU programs honoring others as well as been on the receiving end of significant KU honors. In 2011, she received the KU C.L.A.S.S. Award for outstanding leadership by staff members on behalf of students and was inducted into the KU Women’s Hall of Fame. In 2008, she received the Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett Woman Mentoring Women Award and was named an Outstanding Faculty Facilitator for the KU Learning Communities Program. She’s been involved in national organizations and has served as co-chair of the Women in Student Affairs community of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. As WISA co-chair she was involved in efforts to expand the organization’s scope to be more inclusive of nonbinary and trans individuals in discussions, outreach and focus.
“It has been so meaningful to me to dedicate my career to work I believe in — advancing gender equity, promoting inclusion, and supporting and advocating for students,” Rose-Mockry said. “It has been my privilege to work with colleagues at KU, in the community and beyond to make a difference in the learning experiences and lives of our students. Their courage and tenacity will continue to inspire me. I am proud to have been a part of transformational activities and programs at KU and look forward to contributing in new ways to our community.”
Opportunities to celebrate Rose-Mockry on her retirement will be announced later. A search for the next director of the Emily Taylor Center will begin during the spring semester, Hamer said.