Remembering Kathie Dowdell: April 5, 1947 – January 31, 2017
Kathleen Dowdell joined the university in November of 1999 and immediately explored the opportunities that were available to staff. She joined the Staff Advisory Council’s Staff Training and Development Committee as a non-elected member simply to get involved and network with others on campus! Little did she realize that her enthusiasm would lead to much more!
Kathie was soon elected to SAC as a representative for Arts and Sciences and served as cochair of Staff Training and Development for 15 years. In this capacity, Kathie first initiated the idea that HR incorporate SAC presence at new staff orientation.
Kathie always supported staff development. She was a leader in the establishment of the Staff Educational Enhancement Fund (SEEF) in 2007. Kathie always worked behind the scenes raising money to keep this fund alive and encouraging everyone she came in contact with to make the most out of every opportunity. Kathie highly endorsed the plan to create an Administrative Professional’s Network as a branch of Staff Training and Development.
Several years ago, Kathie took it upon herself to encourage others to donate socks for the homeless. Once collected, she would personally deliver the contributions to the Care Alliance group creating a bond between this organization and the Staff Advisory Council.
Kathie served on the board of Women’s Staff Leadership Development Institute. She was one of the first to help create the prestigious WSLDI program.
As originator of the Green Team in the College of Arts and Sciences, Kathie explored many avenues of sustainability both in the university and the Greater Cleveland area (E4S). She served on the Steering Committee for the Climate Action Plan (CAP) in the university. One of the suggestions Kathie made was to plant a community garden near Ford and Juniper. The university agreed to create a plot of land 50 feet by 50 feet and provide the water supply. Staff and Students volunteered to keep the project going by donating their time and effort. Vegetables were donated to the Cory Hunger Center.
Among the notable awards that Kathie earned include:
- The President’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2011
- The Robin Kramer SAC Volunteer Award in 2015
- Recognition of Sustainability Efforts at the Big Green Event 2015
- The certificate of Master Gardener from The Ohio State University 2016
Kathleen Dowdell retired from CWRU in December 2015. Her sudden death brings sadness to those who knew and worked with her.
We will always remember her smile and enthusiasm for helping others.
The Garden that Kathie so loved will undergo beautification this spring. A tree will be planted in her memory. The family suggested that memorial donations may be sent to The Garden@Case, made out to Brian Gray C/O Case Western Reserve University-Kelvin Smith Library, 11055 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44106 or online www.paypal.me/GrayBrianC .