Professor Deborah Ann Kashy class of 1980, a beloved professor of Psychology at Michigan State University, died on September 8, 2023, at the age of 61 in her home in East Lansing, MI.
Professor Kashy was born in Boston, MA on April 11, 1962. She lived in Okemos, MI, before attending the University of Texas at Austin where she graduated with highest honors in 1986 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Mathematics. She then earned an MA, MS, and PhD from the University of Connecticut in 1988, 1990, and 1991 respectively. From there she joined the faculty at Texas A&M University from 1991 to 2000, then the Michigan State University faculty in 2000, and taught there until her much too early passing due to cancer.
Professor Kashy was an expert in data analysis and collaborated with colleagues across the nation on numerous major research grants resulting in over 160 scientific publications. She co-authored the book “Dyadic Data Analysis” with D. A. Kenny and W.L. Cook. In 2019, she became a fellow of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and in 2022 received the Methodological Innovator award in that society. She was also a leader in analyzing the impact of on-line education in the early adoption of this now ubiquitous mode of learning. In 2023, she was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for Research, Teaching and Service from the MSU College of Social Science.
In addition to her scholarly research, Professor Kashy was first and foremost a dedicated teacher. She was known for her engaging lectures and dedication to her students, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, launching many to successful careers in academia and business. A few comments from students and colleagues illustrate the impact and influence she had throughout her career.
“I remember going to your office hours early on and explaining that I was really nervous about doing well, that I just wasn’t a “math or statistics person”. I will never forget that you told me on that day that I should not think like that: You told me that often women label themselves that way and don’t reach their full potential, when it is just that they haven’t learned the skill yet. … Seeing how much you cared was truly the most precious gift I have had in grad school. So many of us students feel that way and I hope you know how much you’ve touched all of us”. “Working on a difficult multilevel modeling issue you said that you are like a dog with a bone when you get going on a stats problem,”. “You …. were willing to say the honest thing and truth when others are too nervous to say or acknowledge it”. “I wouldn’t ordinarily have an opportunity to say these things to you, but they are things that should be said. I have always admired you for your capacity to carve your worlds in both science and parenthood. You have been brave in both arenas and I stand in awe.”
Beyond the many accomplishments in her career, Professor Deborah Kashy was a loving and kind mother, who never faltered in the face of the many challenges motherhood brought. She will be deeply missed. She is survived by her two sons, Daniel Matthew Kashy and Aaron Joseph Kashy, her brothers David Kashy and Samuel Kashy, and her parents Edwin and Marilyn Kashy.
There are no services planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be directed to Michigan State University Students through the Support Our Spartans Emergency Needs Fund, that provides financial support to cover students' financial costs, damages, housing, etc.online at https://givingto.msu.edu/crowdpower/support-our-spartans.
Arrangements entrusted to Vickers Leslie Funeral Home, 109 N. Church Street/PO Box 503, Leslie, MI 49251. 517-878-6600.