Katie Macnamara, Ph.D., had already been working since 1997 with students between the ages of 5 and 75 to improve their critical thinking and writing skills on two continents when she joined Vista in 2010. Since earning her A.B. at Princeton University, Katie has held teaching positions at the Universiti Sains Malaysia, at The Learning Lab in Singapore, and at Indiana University, where she completed her doctorate in English. She currently teaches composition and literature at John Abbott College in Montreal, Quebec, and communications courses for engineers at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. Having found her calling as an educator while tutoring lower income elementary school kids as a teen at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Katie has remained heavily involved in community outreach programs for over twenty years. At Princeton she directed a tutoring program at the Mercer County Correctional Facility in Titusville, New Jersey and took on leadership roles in the Princeton Outdoor Action Program and at the Princeton Blairstown Center. In Bloomington, Indiana, she served as a Crisis Line support counselor and shelter assistant helping families affected by domestic violence as well as an On-Scene Advocate for victims of sexual assault.
Throughout the years, Katie has also worked one-on-one with former students, colleagues, friends, and countless members of her enormous extended family as an energetic writing coach, editor, and educational adviser. Several times a year, Katie even channels her enthusiasm for literature and language into baking when she makes fortune cookies with somewhat obscure inspirational quotations tucked inside them for students who complete her courses.
As a member of the Princeton Alumni Careers Committee, which has recently sponsored thoughtful local and global conversations about mentorship, gender, generosity in the workplace, Katie continues to think practically and theoretically about empathy as a personal, professional, and pedagogical tool.
Although she tirelessly practiced lay-ups for months in the family driveway when her former college-basketball-playing mom showed her how to do so at a relatively young age, Katie (unlike Mary!) NEVER came anywhere close to playing Division 1 ball. More of a “Ms. Hustle” or “Most Improved Player” than a team M.V.P., Katie has managed to finish two international marathons and hopes to compete in more as she slowly, steadily, and steadfastly improves her modest times.