Black History Month Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Kathryn Washington

Kathryn Washington, Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, Lamar University will celebrate with a series of events organized and sponsored by a variety of organizations, departments, clubs and student organizations that highlight and pay tribute to the achievements of African Americans and important events that contributed to U.S. history.

In addition to university events, LU also chose to celebrate Black excellence by spotlighting several Black LU students, faculty and staff and the many reasons why they feel this month is important.

This Black History Month, Dr. Kathryn Washington, assistant professor of educational leadership, shares what motivates her to be successful.

First/last name: Kathryn Washington
Current Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Educational Leadership Department, College of Education and Human Development

Why does it feel important to celebrate Black History Month?
Black History Month is still important today because representation matters. Even at my age, I am still learning about many contributions of African Americans to this country and beyond. It is important to know where you come from to know where you are going. In addition, it is great to know the shoulders on which I stand today.

What motivates you to be successful?
I attribute my drive to be successful and learn continuously to the inner desire to continually grow and improve. My family is composed of educators and servant leaders. It was expected that we would pursue education regardless of what path we chose in life. This mindset has served me well throughout all situations whether it was learning something new during challenging times or excelling at work under difficult circumstances. I am never stagnant; I continue growing and expanding my knowledge every day.

How long have you worked in education and what are you most proud of as a Black individual in your career field?
This is my 31st year in education, 28 years in public education (K-12), 17 years in Administration and 3 1⁄2 years in high education. There are many firsts in my career as being a Black female in education administration. However, I am the proudest when my former students come back or write to tell me the impact I made on their lives. They are a part of my why!

How does Black history influence your professional or personal life?
It is my goal in every decision professional or personal that I am representing my family, community and culture with the same excellence as my ancestors. I am because they were.

What advice do you have for the generations of Black students coming after you?
My advice to the generations of Black students coming after me is to never stop pursuing knowledge to make a positive impact on the world. Dream BIG, believe in yourself, and go for it!

Did you learn anything new about history in the Black community this year? (this could be personal or broader in a historical sense)
Just recently in my family, we were able to witness the swearing in of the Honorable Beverly D.

Armstrong, who was elected as the first Black female judge of the 208th district court in Harris County. She is also a native of Beaumont, Texas.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I believe that education is the key to understanding our shared history. The more we know about all aspects of human history, the better equipped we will be to work together harmoniously. We are stronger together!