About me

Hello, and thank you for visiting!

I had originally intended this blog as a space to discuss “creativity,” “innovation,” and “lifelong learning” from a somewhat academic perspective.  Hence the subtitle containing those words.

You know what they say about the best laid plans 🙂

From the very beginning my posts had a will of their own.  While I do write about academic topics occasionally, the blog has turned out to be far less about scholarship than about documenting, appreciating, reflecting on, and frankly simply trying to make sense of the world.

Or, to quote again from my blog’s subtitle: “other random stuff.”

Maybe this shift was inevitable.  Making connections has always been part of who I am.  It’s my nature to look for patterns, trends, anomalies.  When something captures my attention, I want to live with it for a while and figure out why.  What does it mean?  How is it significant?  What happens next?

Jobwise, I’m a college professor in the General Studies Department at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach courses in literature, political science, film studies, and communication.

This isn’t as strange a mix of teaching responsibilities as it might first appear.  Although my Ph.D. is in English, my area of concentration is rhetoric and composition studies.  You can’t get a Ph.D. in English without studying literature, so that explains one part of my teaching load.  My undergraduate degree is in political science, I’ve been a cinephile my entire life, and as both political behavior and film are inherently rhetorical, those two subjects are also a good fit.  And finally, because I love reading and writing so much, and derive tremendous satisfaction from helping others clarify and articulate their thoughts, teaching communication comes naturally to me.

My own intellectual research interests are multidisciplinary, and I feel fortunate to have landed an academic job that doesn’t tether me to a single field.  As someone who teaches liberal arts courses at a STEM-fields institution, I’m passionate about exploring creativity, innovation, and lifelong learning from a perspective that embraces the intersections of technology, social science, and the humanities.

And I’m also just plain intrigued by lots of “random stuff.”

Maybe you are, too?  It’s wonderful to meet a kindred spirit, so please stop by often and share your own thoughts!

10 Responses to About me

  1. paulrwaibel says:

    Sounds like a great way to experience life, i.e., as a string of interesting “random stuff.” Also, it is best to do it “one doughnut at a time.”


  2. Jessica Slavin says:

    Hi Katie! I nominated you for a “Liebster” award, which is from one blogger to another, for blogs with under 200 readers. More here: http://jessicaslavin.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/im-a-liebster/. Basically, if you want you can nominate 11 other bloggers and give 11 facts about yourself.


    • Thank you, Jess! I’ll head over to your blog to figure out how this all works, and I’ll do my best to follow through with the process. I am honored to be included in the “Liebster” ranks 🙂


  3. Samir Chopra says:


    I re-read this page today after replying to your comment and realized that your teaching work sounds ideal – what a fantastic mix. You are one lucky person. Well done.


    • Thank you. I do feel very lucky to have such an expansive teaching mix.

      All I miss is the time to focus on scholarship as much as I’d like (because my job is at a teaching rather than at a research institution) and a community of people in my own field I could talk shop with on an everyday basis.

      I’m in the General Studies Department (rather than an English Department), so my colleagues come from many different humanities and social sciences disciplines. Only at conferences can I connect with other people who have read all the same books and journals as me and with whom I can speak in that shorthand of references meaningful only to those who inhabit the same academic niche.

      I’m quickly coming to admire your writing and wide range of interests. From what you’ve said on your blog, I gather that your Ph.D. is in math, yet you write such interesting posts on literature, philosophy, politics, etc. Your blog is really fun to follow!


      • mary rankin says:

        Hello! As the widow of a professor of Electrical Engineering, I enjoy your writings. He enjoyed travelling with me, many times, to England and all parts of the UK and Europe. After we had taken care of trips to the U.S., that is. He taught Electrical Engineering for thirty-seven years, and enjoyed that.
        He enjoyed our visits to museums, after I showed him why he should. I have always regretted studying subjects to help me find a job in an office, rather than Literature. But then you must consider the time in which I grew up. Nevertheless, I would rather read than do anything else. I grew up wanting to marry and have a lot of children, and I did both. (five) I am certainly not a feminist, and enjoy my life.


        • Hello, also! (And thank you for your kind words!) You sound like a fellow lifelong learner, a kindred spirit full of curiosity and possessing a “feel” for how the humanities and engineering/science disciplines can complement and amplify each other. And a reader and traveler. Your five children have undoubtedly gained a sense of intellectual adventure from you and your husband. It’s so nice to meet you!


  4. David Hunter says:

    Ms Wickoff, I’ve always been a writer who couldn’t explain mechanics or parts of speech. I just did it intuitively. +I’ve read other things, but you’re reaching me here. I’m feeling the vibe and hope to come back. Thanks.


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