Professor Kay B. Forest arrived at NIU in 1990 in the Department of Sociology. She quickly became a role model for all teachers, but especially for women. Trained as a family sociologist, Kay has empirically examined the effects of birth cohorts on women's work and family experiences. She teaches Sex & Gender, Marriage & Families, and Racial & Ethnic Minority Family Systems as well as special topics undergraduate and graduate courses dealing with the same issues. Her recent sabbatical was spent researching a movement involving poor and working class women in Philadelphia. She is excited about the power and energy of these women, who fight for their rights with the government regarding welfare, child care, andideology.
Dr. Forest has been active on employment search committees and a vigorous advocate for the hiring of women at NIU. Kay is involved with various groups and activities at NIU and in the community. Together with Dr. LaVerne Gyant of Black Studies, she organized "A Dialogue Between a Black Woman and a White Woman", which led to the ongoing "Bread and Bridges Discussion of Gender and Racial Concerns" (BREAD-L). She initiated an electronic listserver multi-cultural discussion group (MCNET-L) which is now managed by the Provost Office. She also was instrumental in co-founding a DeKalb women's choir (Bread and Roses) to provide anopportunity for DeKalb/NIU women to be visible in the community while enjoying a rewarding activity. She was nominated by the women of El Pueblo Unido, a Latina student political action and education group, as "Most Inspirational Woman" in 1995.