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From the Desk of Dino Baskovic

Kevin Kelch

When you visit Prof. Kevin Kelch’s profile on RateMyProfessors.com, you’ll find a dozen comments left by his former students, including:

I took Presentation Media and Adv. Tech & Prof. with Kelch. I loved both classes and did great in them. He isn’t that strict if you do what is expected of you. Actually, he is one of my favorite professors.

He’s a great teacher, I wish he taught more classes I needed. I’d take him every chance I could! He’s fair, to the point and smart.

I thought Professor Kelch was friendly and I got a lot out of his class. He is very clear on his requirements for papers and presentations.

Very clear on what he wants and a very liberal marker!

This is one grouchy man, but I cannot think of anyone more suited to teach the class. Kelch allows plenty of time to get assignments done. He is very anal in terms of grading, but tells you exactly what he wants to see. In fact the entire class period is dedicated to him repeating what he expects in each assignment…over and over.

Very true. Prof. Kelch’s many students through the years knew he would expect nothing but their absolute best in class. In fact, he insisted on it.

He was my colleague in our Technical and Professional Communication program at Lawrence Tech. I was fortunate enough to call him “Kevin.” We’d debate varied topics such as writing styles for the web, our favorite Adobe products and the occasional misfit student. When he labored to form the Media Communications program at LTU, he valued my humble opinion during its foundation, even going so far as to recommend I teach a course or two. And unlike many of my own professors from my days toting a backpack, Kevin’s door was always open to our students.

He was passionate about rhetoric, fiercely dedicated to his craft, well respected and mildly feared.

He will be sorely missed.

Our program’s director had the unenviable task of announcing his passing to our students last evening. In clumsily finding the right words to follow her, I recounted how I instinctively ticked through a “mental checklist” upon hearing the news. It’s habitual for communicators to fall back on protocol, identify the appropriate channels and begin to establish key messages—all within a split second before the gravity of the situation sets.

She already had all that covered. She always does. It’s what is expected of us as communicators in times of crisis. We handle it. It’s what we do, and what Prof. Kelch would’ve expected.

Since the events of 9/11, and more recently Virginia Tech, I have a morbid habit of scouring the web to see how such events unfold online from an institutional standpoint. Today’s news is tragic to his loved ones, our school and our industry. It won’t go much farther than that, which is understandable. That said, I would like to thank my department and my school’s leaders for the prompt and thorough management of this incident. I was glad to see the LTU website promptly reflected the news, as well.

As for RateMyProfessors.com, well, I suspect they have their own protocol. Perhaps Prof. Kelch’s students will continue to share their thoughts and memories on his profile (and they may do so here, as well). The site even offers an RSS feed for him.

I wonder what Kevin would’ve thought of that.