Kathy is immediate Past President of the Popular Culture Association and a Former President of the American Culture Association.
Kathy received her B.A. from West Virginia University in English and Spanish, M.A. from Ohio State University in English, and Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University in American culture.
She is the author of over a hundred articles, chapters, and reviews and has authored or edited ten books: “Images of Children in American Film” (1986); “Walt Disney: A Bio-Bibliography” (1993); “Rituals and Patterns in Children’s Lives” (2005); “Conversations with Walt Disney” (2006); “Disneyland and Culture: Essays on the Theme Parks and Their Influence”, co-edited with Mark West (2011); “Walt Disney: From Reader to Storyteller”, co-edited with Mark West (2014); “The Intersection of “Star Culture” in America and International Medical Tourism: Celebrity Treatment”, co-authored with Lisa Lyon Payne and Kathy Stolley (2016); “Revisiting “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood”: Essays on Lessons About Self and Community”, co-edited with Steven Emmanuel (2016); “Shapers of American Childhood: Essays on Visionaries from L. Frank Baum to Dr. Spock To J.K. Rowling”, co-edited with Mark West (2018); and “Animals and Ourselves: Essays on Connection”s and “Blurred Boundaries”, co-edited with Kathy Stolley and Lisa Lyon Payne.
She edited “The Journal of American Culture” for fifteen years and currently reviews manuscripts for and serves on the advisory boards of several journals. She previously wrote a monthly column on television for “Port Folio Weekly”, a local lifestyle magazine. In 1984 she received the Virginia Wesleyan's Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Teaching Award and in 2004 became its first recipient of the Batten Distinguished Scholar Award, which she won again in 2018.
She was named to the first class of Batten Professors, serving in that capacity from 2004-2007. In 2006 and 2019, the Popular Culture Association presented her with the President's Award for Extraordinary Service, and in 2007, she was awarded the association's highest award, the Governing Board Award, for scholarly contributions to American culture studies and service to the association.
Her main areas of interest are children’s culture, popular film and television, Disney studies, and animation.
She and her husband Joe, a writer, live in Virginia Beach. Their son Nicholas and his Parisian-born wife Lucie are artists living in Chicago.