I had never seen a) graduate students lobby for anything before or b) students, undergrad or grad, making a Board of Regents reverse a negative tenure decision. But Katherine McAdams, who I had the honor of having on my dissertation committee almost 20 years ago, was not a normal academic. Her honesty and sense of humanity were so large you could feel it like an energy field around her.
She was one of the first persons I talked to about Live From Death Row. She listened intently and respected my passion. Now that I’m older, I now know that’s not easy to do well; it’s real simple to fake it, particularly when you get paid to do so. But her sincerity and empathy were equally large and real.
She always championed me. I often walked away from an encounter with her wishing I could respond and interact with people the way she did–with such a high level of spiritual freedom and connection. She had a lot of friends and admirers and the right enemies. Now I have another standard to meet.