Kathryn Thirolf, Ph.D.

Dr. Kathryn Thirolf serves as vice president for instruction at Jackson College in Michigan. As the chief academic officer, she is responsible for providing strategic leadership, direction, and support to all functions related to teaching and learning at the college. She is inspired every day by the Total Commitment to Student Success (TCS2) demonstrated by Jackson College’s esteemed faculty, who teach and deliver over 60 different career- and transfer-focused programs that are all continually tailored to serve the needs of the Jackson-area community and the state of Michigan.

Over the course of her 15+ years in higher education, Dr. Thirolf has taught as a faculty member at Universiti Sains Malaysia, worked as a University Management Fellow at Harvard University, served as a chief of staff at Washtenaw Community College, and provided leadership overseeing online learning, competency-based education, and prison education initiatives as a dean at Jackson College.

Dr. Thirolf has authored a number of peer-reviewed articles on community colleges and community college faculty. She currently serves as a coeditor of Rowman & Littlefield’s Futures Series on Community Colleges, which is designed to deliver cutting-edge books on current and emerging hot topics impacting community colleges.

Dr. Thirolf received her A.B. from Princeton University, her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Michigan.

She is married to John Burkhardt, M.D., and is an adoring mom to their kids, Emily and Jack.