Kathleen (Kathy) Lee


M.A., Humboldt State University

My path to teaching here at Humboldt was somewhat untraditional. Although I have been intensely interested in politics for as long as I can remember, my first career was in nursing. During the period that I was taking time out from the ICU to stay at home with young children, I volunteered for organizations such as Physicians for Social Responsibility and Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament. What I discovered was that if one sought to change government policy for the better, one had best be informed about that policy area and all the processes necessary to change it. That is why I choose to explore government and politics and to share that knowledge with students.

Although political science is an area of study to which we bring out own sets of values and biases, it has always been my goal to help students learn, not what to think about political issues, but how to think about them. The late Senator Patrick Moynihan once said, “We are all entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts.” To that end, I strive to present the most up to date factual information as well as analytical models that can help students understand how policy makers use (or abuse) factual information. Because problems we face have complex causes, my approach is multidisciplinary, exploring the scientific, psychological, social and cultural factors that influence political actions.

Regardless of one’s political ideology, it is clear that humanity is facing unprecedented challenges in terms of population, resource scarcity and a changing biosphere. My overarching goal is to provide students with the some of the tools they will need to recognize those challenges and become part of a positive process to address them.