Our Thanks to Don Hedrick and Katy Karlin

Don Hedrick and Katy Karlin at their joint retirement celebration at the K-State Alumni Center (26 April 2023)


On Wednesday April 26, we gathered at the Alumni Center, with concurrent live-stream, to celebrate the contributions of Don Hedrick and Katy Karlin, two of our faculty members who are retiring this May after, respectively, 47 years and 14 years of service to Kansas State.

We look forward to hearing about their next adventures!

For now, we thank them for their significant and lasting contributions to our students, the department, the college, the university, and the profession.

Thank you, Don and Katy!

Karin Westman, Department Head

Arts and Sciences

Department of English

Donald K. Hedrick


Dr. Donald K. Hedrick retires in May 2023 after 47 years of service to Kansas State. Don earned his A.B. (1969) in English and German from the University of Kansas and his M.A. (1972) and his Ph.D. (1974) in English from Cornell University. Following appointment as a Teaching Fellow at Cornell (1970-1971) and as Instructor in English at the University of New Orleans (1973-1974), Don joined the Department of English first as Visiting Assistant Professor (1976) and then as Assistant Professor (1977) in Renaissance literature. He earned tenure in 1980 and promotion to Associate Professor in 1981 and promotion to Professor in 1987. Among other appointments and honors, he served as the Distinguished Endowed O’Connor Chair of Literature at Colgate University (1988-89) and received a Senior Fulbright Teaching Fellowship at Charles University in Prague (1998).

A scholar of the Renaissance since the early 1970s, Don has published two books in addition to numerous journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews. Don’s publications, invited lectures, and conference presentations demonstrate his timely contributions to the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Studies while concurrently expanding methodologies for the study of canonical works by Shakespeare and others. His forthcoming book on Shakespeare and Fun: The Birth of Entertainment Value marks both the culmination of his own scholarly trajectory and provides a roadmap for future scholars.

Don has also garnered success as a scholar and researcher through grants and awards. Of particular note are a Ford Foundation Grant (1989), a Folger Library Research Fellowship (2006), and the “Shakespeare’s First Folio” exhibit from Folger Shakespeare Library (2016). He was appointed to the Publications Committee of the MLA (1993-96), to the Executive Committee of the Cultural Studies Association of America (2008-2012), and the PMLA Advisory Board (2011-2015). Awards and recognition extended to teaching, too, thanks to Don’s engaged, innovative, and dedicated instruction and mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students. For this excellence, Don received, among other honors, the department’s Michael Donnelly Award for Faculty in English (2016-2018) and, from the College, the Gaches Lifetime Teaching Award (2017).

Don has made enduring contributions to the Department of English, to the College of Arts and Sciences, and to the University. In 1991, he joined Professors Tim Dayton and Jim Machor in co-founding a new graduate Track in Cultural Studies for our M.A. program, along with the Track’s national conference, which continues today. He served on numerous department committees to advance undergraduate, graduate, and faculty success and, representing the College, served on Faculty Senate. He has worked with enthusiasm to advance the humanities within and beyond the university community.

With gratitude, we recognize Don’s significant contributions to the mission of the Department of English at Kansas State University.Note: The information below complements the official citation prepared by the College of Arts and Sciences.


Arts and Sciences

Department of English

Katherine L. Karlin


Dr. Katherine (Katy) L. Karlin retires in May 2023 after 14 years of service to Kansas State. 

Katy earned her B.A. (2000) in English and her M.F.A. (2004) in Fiction from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. (2009) in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Katy joined the Department of English in 2009 as an assistant professor in creative writing. She was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 2013 and to Professor in 2022.

Known for the exceptional quality and versatility of her creative and critical work, Katy has established herself not only as an award-winning writer of fiction – the genre where her career began – but also of memoir, biography, and film studies. Of particular note is her short story collection, Send Me Work (2011), which received national and regional honors as well as popular acclaim.

Katy’s contributions in research and creative activity extend beyond traditional publications to include grants for developing a collaborative digital humanities project on the African American photographer, novelist, and film maker Gordon Parks and for a biography of the African American singer and activist Etta Moten. Like much of Katy’s published creative work in fiction and essay form, these two projects advance key goals of the English Department, the College, and the University: the recovery, cultural analysis, and advancement of under-represented voices and lived experiences.

An award-winning instructor, mentor, and advocate, Katy has guided undergraduate and graduate students through introductory and advanced fiction workshops and guided them on to personal and professional success. In recognition of her excellence in teaching, she received the department’s award in 2018 and the College’s William L. Stamey Award in 2019. Katy also advanced our department’s commitment to film, spearheading the design  of our interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate in Film Studies and overseeing the annual 48-Hour Film Challenge. The democratic spirit of that campus-wide event, which welcomes any student to participate as part of a team, informs another important contribution: the Young Writers’ Workshop. Launched in 2014 and now entering its tenth year, the Young Writers’ Workshop creates a space each summer for rising 8th, 9th, or 10th grade students to gain confidence and practice, free of charge, in the craft of writing.

Katy’s contributions also include her service as Head of the Graduate Track in Creative Writing (2016-2018), on the department’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee (2013-2014, 2019-present) and the department’s Diversity Committee (2013-present), and as a faculty mentor in the university’s Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (SUROP) and McNair Program. Her intellectual curiosity, creativity, and commitment to equity have informed all her service and benefited many.

With gratitude, we recognize Katy’s significant contributions to the mission of the Department of English at Kansas State University.

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