Kathleen Fotheringham: A Quest to Graduate Before Obtaining the Senior Discount

Samantha Burfiend

Most people in Cedar City know Kathleen Fotheringham as one of the local coffee baristas at the Grind Coffee House. Little do most know, she is also a French-speaking double education major at Southern Utah University.

Before coming to SUU, Fotheringham expressed interests in a multitude of disciplines including: history, dance, music and language studies. Outside of professional interests, she can be found making coffees and teas, napping and discussing her existential crises.

As a double major in education, Fotheringham said it often feels like she is trying to complete three degrees in total.

“I am generally taking between 18 and 19 credits every semester at SUU in order to graduate before I qualify for the senior discounts at the Sizzler,” Fotheringham joked.  

Before settling on her ultimate education goals, Fotheringham was able to spend eight months teaching English as a second language (ESL) to French high school and preschool students. While teaching in France, Fotheringham came to a point where she realized she needed to do what she loved, and for her it meant pursuing, studying and thriving in multiple disciplines rather than one.

“Teaching ESL gave me an idea of education in a practical aspect, as well as deciding what I want to do with education in the future,” Fotheringham said. “ESL really makes you think about your lesson plans, and how you will approach a subject from a very basic level. For anyone, learning a language is a very complicated thing to do. Teaching ESL made me realize how I can break down my lesson plans in both history and dance.”

In her dance field, Fotheringham won best dance choreography at SUU in the years 2015 and 2017, won most improved dancer in 2015 and was given The LaVeve P. Whetten Memorial Scholarship in 2017. In her history field, Fotheringham was invited to present her history thesis at a research and history conference in Salt Lake City this past year.

According to Fotheringham, her professors in both the dance and history departments at SUU have helped to shape her experience in discovering where her talents lie and what her options are for the future.

Fotheringham’s goals for this year are to not only survive the school year, but also complete the praxis exam and finish her education requirements. Fotheringham will still be in the dance department choreographing a duet and dancing for the program. She one day hopes to teach high school history and dance, but she also has goals of going to graduate school to pursue choreography.

Kathleen Fotheringham during her time in Europe. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Fotheringham.