Obituary: Sister Kathleen Mary Burns, IHM, Former Dean of the College of Graduate Studies
Sister Kathleen Mary Burns, IHM, 79, first dean of the College of Graduate Studies and professor of psychology at Immaculata University for 34 years, died suddenly on Sunday, February 18, at Paoli Hospital after a short illness.
Prior to accepting the post of director of the Graduate Division (now the College of Graduate Studies), Sister served as professor of psychology in both the undergraduate and graduate division of Immaculata and chaired the department from September 1981 until 1988. From the initiation in 1983 of the first three graduate programs in counseling psychology, educational leadership, and nutrition education, Sister served as chairman of the counseling psychology graduate program. In 2000, Sister was named Professor Emerita. She moved to Camilla Hall in 2005.
An educator with experience at all levels of the profession, Sister taught in elementary schools for eight years and in secondary schools for eleven years. She served on the Immaculata faculty since 1971. In addition to teaching, Sister held administrative posts at the secondary and college levels. She was prefect of studies at Norfolk Catholic High School in Virginia from 1965-67 and prefect of discipline at Notre Dame Academy in Miami from 1967-69. After serving as director of special gifts at Immaculata from 1976-78, she filled the post of dean of college development from 1978-80.
A frequently sought speaker on a variety of subjects, Sister Kathleen presented workshops and seminars on such topics as stress management, leadership, self-discovery, women in management, coping, self-enhancement, career changes, problem solving and decision making.
Sister Kathleen received her bachelor´s degree in English and history from Immaculata College in 1957, and both her M.A. in Latin and education in 1964 and her Ed.D. in counseling psychology in 1970 from the University of Virginia. In 1974, she became a licensed psychologist in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The recipient of a number of honors and awards, including membership in such honor societies as Lychnos Society (University of Virginia), Kappa Delta Pi (education), Delta Kappa Tau (social sciences), and Chi Sigma Iota (counseling), Sister was a Fulbright scholar in Rome in 1966 and the recipient of a graduate assistantship and scholarship at the University of Virginia in 1969-70.
Her imprint on the university as well as the College of Graduate Studies and its graduates is evident through a comment given by one of her colleagues during an annual evaluation â€“ "I see you as a visionary who also has the competencies to bring your visions to reality. Your strong interpersonal skills and genuine caring for others creates an atmosphere of community within the Graduate Division that extends itself to all those that the Division serves."
According to Sister R. Patricia Fadden, IHM, president of Immaculata University, "The loss of Sister Kathleen will be felt deeply by the Sisters, faculty, administration and alumni of Immaculata. Her leadership as a faculty member and administrator and her expertise through the early years of the graduate school contributed greatly to the dynamic growth of the current College of Graduate Studies. She will be missed."
Sister Kathleen, the former Anne Burns, daughter of the late Michael J. and Mary Burns of the Juniata section of Philadelphia, is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and
grandnephews. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 24, at Camilla Hall. Viewing will be held on Friday, February 23, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. with a Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday morning, from 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. at Camilla Hall, Immaculata, Pennsylvania. Contributions may be made to Camilla Hall, Immaculata, PA 19345.
Funeral arrangements are being made through DellaVecchia, Reilly, and Smith Funeral Home of West Chester.
Immaculata University, a Catholic, coeducational institution, is located 20 miles west of Philadelphia, south of the intersection of routes 30 and 352, between Paoli and Exton.
z:word: release: Obit: Sister Kathleen Mary Burns #108 (2.20.07)