Alumna Karen Kennelly, CSJ, receives Distinguished Achievement Award
Sister Karen Kennelly ’56 received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Service to Catholic Studies by The American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA).
The Distinguished Achievement Award for Service to Catholic Studies acknowledges the exceptional contribution of an individual who has promoted the study and research of the history of Catholicism, broadly conceived, apart from teaching and publication. Sister Karen was recognized for her work in her capacity as coordinator of the Conference on the History of Women Religious.
One of three distinguished recipients in the fields of scholarship, service, and teaching, Sister Karen was honored by the ACHA at a January 4 event in Washington, D.C. The awards conferred recognition on people who substantially assist the work of Catholic history through promotion, publication, instruction and dissemination.
Sister Karen was also involved in the Smithsonian exhibit, “Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America” that has traveled throughout the United States. The exhibit was featured on a related documentary about women religious that aired on NBC stations around the country, including KARE-11 in the Twin Cities area.
Sister Karen earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from St. Catherine University in 1956. She went on to earn a master’s degree in history at The Catholic University of America, and holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley. She served as professor of history and Academic Dean at St. Kate’s and, for 10 years, as President of Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, a sister institution to St. Catherine University.
During the University’s centennial celebration in 2005, Sister Karen was recognized as one of the Centennial 100, a list that included the most beloved and influential members of the St. Kate’s community in its first century.