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Teaching at a gallop

Don’t be surprised if you run into chemistry professor Kathy Stickney on campus—literally.

An avid runner with nine marathons and more than 50 other races under her belt since 2009, Dr. Stickney is working to become a member of the 50 States Marathon Club, which sports fewer than 3,000 members who have completed a full marathon (26.2 miles) in each state.Dr. Stickney didn’t start running seriously until a couple of years ago, when she signed up for a training class and completed her first half-marathon in Indianapolis. She started to get very good very quickly.

She completed her first marathon that fall and qualified for the Boston Marathon, finishing well under the four-hour mark at 3:44. Since then, she has been running around the U.S., completing races in Michigan, Utah, North Carolina, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Running this many races can be tricky when balancing a teaching schedule. She teaches Introduction to Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Environmental Chemistry, plus the odd chemistry seminar or General Chemistry class.

“I’m really lucky to be working at a school where there is such a good support group,” says Dr. Stickney. “I’ve received help from the Athletic Training students and staff, learned about good nutrition from Kinesiology professors, and even had great suggestions from my students.”

When Dr. Stickney isn’t running, she enjoys spending time with Kismet, the Palomino quarter horse she’s owned for 19 years, and Dandy, a thoroughbred she’s had for 9 years. She’s had to cut back on competing with both horses in jumping, but occasionally shows them in dressage competitions. Dr. Stickney hopes that students will take advantage of the many opportunities available at UIndy.

“College is such a great time,” she says. “You meet so many people and there is so much diversity here. “Attend cross-cultural events. Enjoy the culture that we have here on campus. But be ready to hit the ground running in the classroom. Be self-directed and self-disciplined and balance your time wisely. But most of all, have fun. It’s a wonderful time for you, and you are educating yourself for a career that will last you a lifetime.”