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Kathy Kaulbach






 Kathy Kaulbach
 MA Ed Literacy Education

“I see myself as a teacher—with the page as my classroom, the reader as my students.”
Kathy Kaulbach is an educator, but you won’t find her in a school or a training centre. Her classroom is the page. Kathy’s a graphic designer, specializing in information and publication design . She’s also a children’s book illustrator; her work appears both under own name and the pseudonym HildaRose.

In these roles, she says, “I see myself as a teacher—with the page as my classroom, the reader as my students. The purpose of my work is to communicate to my audience specific information so that they can find what they need, understand what they find, and act on what they find—in other words, I educate my reader.”

And it’s this understanding of herself as both an information designer and a teacher that led her to the Master of Arts program in Literacy Education.

“Returning to school offered me the opportunity to slow down, think thoroughly, and follow alternative paths.”
Kathy has been a graphic designer for over thirty years. Ten years ago, she launched her own company, Touchstone Design House. While she enjoys the challenge of self-employment, she found that the constraints of clients and deadlines didn’t always let her explore her own creative ideas. So she decided to enroll in the Mount’s MA Ed program.

Literacy Education was a natural choice for Kathy, who already saw herself as an educator.  And, she says, “My design work uses images and imagery as a means of communication—combined with my experience as a children’s book illustrator—this led naturally to the study of literacy, particularly visual literacy and examining how images communicate.”

But perhaps most importantly, the program provided her with “a challenge that would help me become better at what I do and jet start my creative engines.”

“My simple career goal is to be the best I can at what I do, to solve my client’s communication problems with enthusiasm and intelligence, and to enjoy my work.”
Now that Kathy has earned her MA Ed, she’s returned to her work with a renewed sense of creativity, curiosity, and confidence in her skills as an information designer.

“This degree offered me a chance to read, research, explore, and discover,” she says. “It placed before me new ideas and gave me the opportunity to experiment and play. It opened doors that I would not have opened and gave me the opportunity to go through those doors and find renewed enthusiasm and creativity. It motivated me to continue to learn and explore on a day-to-day basis.”

“For anyone who is willing to self-motivate, work hard, and be adventurous with new ideas, this program offers a journey that will impact their life.”
Kathy’s MA Ed program in Literacy Education helped her to challenge herself and excel creatively, professionally, and personally. And she thinks that many other professionals from a wide range of fields would also benefit from this program. “I would certainly recommend this program to other students who are interested and motivated to use learning as a means to change and shift to a better place,” she says.

“I was surprised at how flexible and individualized the courses are at the Mount. The faculty encouraged me to follow my interests and make use of my personal skills as a designer/illustrator. I was encouraged to explore and discover new paths and with that freedom I rediscovered my creative voice, the joy that comes from self-expression, and new energy in my daily work. Because of this authentic approach to learning I was able to directly place my new knowledge into my professional work where I explored new ideas and approaches. This shifted and will continue to shift my work to a place of improved quality.”

Read an excerpt from Kathy's MA Ed (Literacy Education) thesis:

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