25 Years of Service: Katherine Koudele
Chair, Department of Sustainable Agriculture
Katherine Koudele has had an expansive career ranging from active farming to the highest levels of animal science academics. Her children were young and under foot when Kathy shifted careers from a small-scale farmer to a full-time professor, coming home to Andrews where she had earned both her bachelor and master’s degrees and where she was the first female employee at the dairy.
These experiences helped frame a passion for animals taking her to Michigan State University for a PhD. After completing her degree, Kathy came back to the dairy of her youth and became a crucial part of the management team that built the dairy into an award-winning facility.
Over her 25 years as an Andrews faculty member, Kathy built a highly competitive Animal Science & Pre-Vet program, most recently applying that same passion and expertise to spearhead the Agriculture Education Center, breathing life back into the facility. The center is not only a gem for students and a destination for local evening walkers but a unique experience unseen in nearly all competitive animal science programs.
Colleague Stan Beikmann shared the following: “Kathy Koudele was my colleague for nearly 20 years in the agriculture department. Under the chairmanship of Tom Chittick, our academic team consisted of Kathy, Ralph Wood, Garth Woodruff and me. It was a team of harmony, growth and achievement for the department. Kathy was always the consummate professional and a superbly knowledgeable, organized and efficient teacher of animal science and pre-veterinary medicine. In a highly competitive field for student admissions to top veterinary schools, her students fared very well and today a number are practicing veterinarians. She has not only been a faithful and dedicated servant to the mission of this University, I see her also as a progressive impact on “changing the world” through faith and learning. It has been an honor and a joy to have been her colleague and still count her as a friend. Congratulations are well earned!”
Kathy, now as chair of the Department of Sustainable Agriculture and still deeply supported by her kids and her husband Ron, drives the horticulture and animal programs for academic excellence launching students into exciting new careers.
Thank you, Kathy, for your 25 years of dedicated service to Andrews University.