Kathy K. Taylor, JD, Esq., Professor of Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies at Naugatuck Valley Community College, delivered the keynote speech at Taft School’s annual Martin Luther King Day Breakfast. Recalling Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Taylor noted that most of us are familiar with its key concepts and phrases.
“And therein lies the problem,” says Taylor “We are so familiar with those words that we glance over them with ease and assume we already know what they mean. Yet there is so much more to learn, to grapple with to understand their continued relevance, and at once to behold both the simplicity of his message and its complexity and its application.” Taylor encouraged the community to not only dig deeper, but to “reject the sanitized version” of history we have come to know.
Taylor is entering her thirteenth year at the college. Having served as the Founding Director of NVCC’s Academic Center for Excellence and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Kathy’s love remains in the classroom where she continually reminds students of the law’s power and encourages them to think deeply about the many ways in which the past informs the present and shapes the future.
She serves NVCC and her community, both locally and nationally. For the past seven years, she has served as a faculty member with the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS). With the mission of empowering women to develop their leadership skills in order to navigate the shifting landscape of higher education, Kathy, as a HERS faculty member annually travels and speaks at three HERS institutes at the University of Denver, Bryn Mawr College, and Wellesley College.
In all of her various roles, she has received numerous awards and recognitions. In 2017, she was the first faculty member, voted by the student body, to serve as the commencement speaker. In 2011, Connecticut Magazine voted her Generation Next 40 Under 40 people to watch. In 2016, Kathy was awarded the NVCC Presidential Medal of Honor for her work in revitalizing the Faculty Senate and encouraging an in-depth analysis of the continued importance of the liberal arts at a community college. She also serves as co-chair of the Center for Racial Dialogue and Community Transformation where she leads a robust roster of community forums.
Her commitment to improving the lives of those around her does not stop at the doors of NVCC. In her community, she serves as chairwoman of the Connecticut Community Foundation, and chairs the Women’s Grant-making Fund.
Taylor also owns her own consulting business where she advises various school districts, non-profits, and corporations around issues of equity, structural racialization, suspension disparities, and implicit bias. Her very real and demonstrated commitment impacts everything she does for students, her institution, and her community.
Professor Taylor earned her B.A. in Psychology at Hampton University before receiving her Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Licensed to practice in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, Kathy enjoys her work. She lives in Waterbury with her college sweetheart and husband, Kevin Taylor. The mother of three – Michael, Jonathan, and Elise- Kathy has spent her evenings and weekends advocating at PTA meetings, cheering on soccer and cross-country fields, and listening during music lessons. She is a tireless advocate for her community, her students, and her children. She lives and breathes the motto, “To whom much is given, much is required.”