Over the weekend, I learned that Barbara Keats, one of the faculty in the Management Department at Arizona State University, passed away unexpectedly on September 1. The news has been difficult for me. Barbara was such a kind person in general and to me in particular. She was the course coordinator for two classes I taught at ASU – Collaborative Team Skills and Responsible Leadership. Because of that, I worked fairly close with her when I was prepping the courses. She was so generous with her time and resources – and was willing to help me with any thorny student issues – a huge relief for a graduate student! Barbara was passionate about the service learning component of the Responsible Leadership class and that contributed to my own belief in the benefits of service learning for students.
In addition to her support of my teaching, Barbara was also an animal lover, and we had so many discussions about our animals. She was always the first to sponsor me when I had a fundraising event. Barbara also showed lots of interest in my jewelry and often bought pieces from my Etsy store.
Something you may not know about Barbara is that she had a Masters in Divinity, which she earned while teaching (I think a regular course load, too). She exemplified the Catholicism associated with social justice.
After I moved to Ithaca, I became so busy, I wasn’t in touch with Barbara as much as I wish I would have been, which I regret now. I do take some comfort in remembering her as a generous, kind, sincere, and authentic woman. I know she touched many lives and will be greatly missed.