Dr. Cathy Grover will be the 2020-21 King Endowed Professor in The Teachers College at Emporia State University.
She did not know that, though, when the chair of her department said the dean was going to join them in a virtual meeting recently.
“They said we needed (an online meeting) to discuss (graduate teaching assistant) issues,” Grover said. “Lots of things need to be worked out before I can make assignments for the fall semester. My imagination began conjuring up all sorts of less than desirable issues — how to social distance in their classes, etc.”
She said she asked Dr. Jim Persinger, chair of ESU’s psychology department, if there were problems as the dean is not normally involved in these discussions.
“You can imagine all the scenarios that went through my head,” Grover said.
When Dr. Joan Brewer, dean of The Teachers College, joined the meeting, the ruse was over.
“Not in a million years would I have guessed what followed when Joan said ‘So what we really called you for was...’ I cannot recall her exact words because I was in shock!”
Grover is an associate professor of psychology at Emporia State.
“Cathy Grover has been the backbone of the Department of Psychology for 20 years,” Persinger said. “I say that because besides teaching many of its core courses, she is prolific in nurturing talent among the undergraduates. She sponsors dozens of student research projects each year, most of which are presented at state and regional conferences.
“Dr. Grover also trains and mentors our graduate teaching assistants, with many of them each year going on to additional graduate studies including doctoral degrees; several have become professors,” Persinger continued. “The King Professor is about caring faculty who mentor and nurture students, and bring out the best in them. Cathy Grover epitomizes that, every day.”
"This is the second year we have been able to award the King Endowed Professorship. The Teachers College has always been committed to putting students first,” said Brewer. “This recognition allows us the opportunity to recognize outstanding faculty who have had a significant impact in the lives of their students. I am grateful we have the ability to acknowledge the efforts of these deserving faculty in such a remarkable way."
“I want to thank everyone who made this award possible. I am blessed to work at ESU where education and mentoring are highly valued,” Grover said.
The King Endowed Professorship in The Teachers College was established in 2019 by Arthur C. Piculell, Jr. to honor Dr. John E. King, the 11th president of the Kansas State Teachers College, now Emporia State University.
The professorship’s purpose is to supplement the salary of a distinguished professor within The Teachers College at Emporia State University. This award is in honor and recognition of the impact that educational leaders like Dr. John E. King have on the lives of students.
Above photo: A screenshot of a Zoom conference shows Dr. Cathy Grover, top right, learning she is the 2020-21 King Endowed Professor in The Teachers College. Shown with her are Dr. Jim Persinger, top left, and Dr. Joan Brewer.