Casey Kayser Biography
Dr. Casey Kayser
Keynote Speaker of the Undergraduate Scholars Forum at her undergrad Alma mater Westminster College - April 15, 2016
Casey Kayser was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, and graduated from Westminster College in 2001 with a BA in English and minor in Theater. While she was at Westminster, she was a member of Psi Chi psychology honor society; served as President of the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta; was one of the founding student members of the Remley Women's Resource Center; served as the student representative on several campus committees; and participated in multiple theatrical productions. She graduated in 2003 from the University of Missouri with a Master's in English, and from Louisiana State University in 2010 with a doctorate in English and a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. She is now a Clinical Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arkansas, where she teaches courses in literature and medical humanities, and helps coordinate a partnership with the local hospital in which students are trained to work with a healthcare team to improve health outcomes for chronically ill patients. Her research specialties include narrative medicine; service-learning pedagogy; modern and contemporary American literature and drama; southern literature, drama, and culture; folklore; and gender studies. Her work has been published in Midwestern Folklore, and she has essays forthcoming in Mississippi Quarterly and Pedagogy. She is working on a book focusing on gender, race, and regional identity in the work of southern women playwrights, and has a forthcoming co-edited collection entitled Carson McCullers in the Twenty-First Century. She currently serves as the President of the Carson McCullers Society.
Dr. Casey Kayer will share her path of unexpected educational and professional journeys, from graduation from Westminster College, to Cajun dancing with her students in Louisiana, to finding herself as an English professor talking daily not only about literature, but also about hypertension and atrial fibrillation. Many of these experiences are a result of taking her work outside of the traditional boundaries of educational institutions and engaging students in service to their communities.
She will discuss the importance of finding opportunities to learn and serve in unexpected places as an important component of a meaningful education and career.