Katie Warfield. (File photo)

“So deeply saddened by this news. I was an English major before I took a class with Katie. Her passion and her spirit could light up a whole room. Katie taught me that to be a journalist wasn’t a bad thing (like it is often portrayed) and that you can use your heart and your voice to make a ripple of change in the world. I am forever grateful for her focus on inclusion and diversity and all of the lessons I have learned from her. I still think about lessons she taught me during the first class I took with her, and that was 12 years ago. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her.” —  Kayla MacInnis


“While I only had one class with her, Katie was a helpful and awesome professor that allowed her students to create their own opportunities to be successful and really was someone who wanted to see everyone she met be the best they can be. Although I had minimal time learning from her, I was able to learn quite a bit from her and was able to at least thank her for teaching me shortly before passing. Hearing how she was always able to put smiles on people’s faces, I hope to be able to do the same one day.” — Brylian Marin


“Katie embodied kindness and authenticity. She will always remain an inspiration. Her passion for social justice and communication taught us how to be curious and critical about the media messages around us. Katie pushed and challenged her students in all the right ways, and we all became better people with her guidance. She will be so missed. Katie’s scholarly spirit will live through all of her students and colleagues. Hopefully, we can spread the values and ideals close to her heart. The world is in dire need of them.” — Jenna Keeble


“I first met Katie during my first semester studying in the arts after frantically steering out of a science degree. She had on a dapper sleeveless vest and her hair was pulled up into a top knot that bounced along with her excited nodding as she fielded our questions that first day of class. This image of her – eyes sparkling, a toothy, kind grin on her face, hand poised at the board to visually explain a concept – encapsulates not only what kind of instructor she was, but also what kind of human she was. Katie’s kindness, empathy, and brilliance knew no bounds, and that much was perfectly clear if you ever had a conversation with her, or simply just got to be in her presence. I’ll always value how much confidence she instilled in me – confidence to trust my ideas, to chase my passions. It brings me great warmth thinking about how many other people she must have inspired over her time as an instructor, a scholar, and just a generally badass person. Katie continues to light a burning fire under all of us to care, to feel, and to act.

We all will miss you so much, Katie.” —- Dani Penaloza


“It seems like everyone who was lucky enough to have had Katie as their professor loved her. She had a genuine passion for her studies that she was able to spread to her students, along with a warmth and vibrance about her that made it a joy to be in her class each week. I know that I wasn’t the only student who went out of his way to be in her classes every semester. Her work as a teacher and scholar taught us that media is a tool that can be used to empower, inspire, and positively impact the world around us. Part of Katie’s legacy is the numerous students who were inspired by her and I feel incredibly fortunate to be one of them.” — Joseph Keller


“Although it’s been a couple weeks since the news of Katie’s passing, an ache still sits in my chest that she is gone. She was an inspiration to all of us in the journalism program. Her energy in classes was infectious and it motivated you to do your absolute best. She was one of the instructors that wasn’t just a teacher, but a friend outside of classes. She wanted her students to pass and do well, and made sure to be available at any time for additional help to understand the complexity of communication. I’m so grateful I met her, I’ll carry her memory and teachings with me throughout my journalism career. We all miss you so terribly much, Katie.” — Kyler Emerson


“I had Katie as an instructor for my Communication and Everyday Life course. The class has many philosophical aspects to it, which I found difficult. I remember reaching out to Katie in her office after class. I was super honest with her and told her that I didn’t understand anything from the lesson. She sat me down, took a white piece of paper and pen then started explaining the entire lesson in a way that I could understand. I appreciated the time she gave to me and to her other students whenever we were having a hard time. She was a great example of dedication, patience, and charisma.” — Nicole Gonzalez Filos


“Katie had such a natural talent as an educator. Her patience, kindness, and compassion made her classes feel so uniquely welcoming and engaging. Her enthusiasm for learning was contagious, her energy and work ethic was inspirational, and her ability to both challenge and encourage her students in the individual ways they needed was so uplifting… it’s easy to see why she had such a positive impact on so many people in the community. She was a fantastic role model, and I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to know her and learn from her. Losing her has been absolutely heart-wrenching, but there’s no question that she made the world a genuinely better place, and has inspired countless others to do the same.” – Braden Klassen