Empowering Educators

July 1, 2019


Kathryn Voss ’08, MS ’09 has roots in education that run deep. Especially at Canisius College.  

Her great-grandfather, Robert Donley, graduated from Canisius in the 1920s and became a teacher. Her grandfather, Robert S. Donley Jr. ’38 became a doctor and Voss’ uncle, Robert S. Donley III ’77, received his MS in education from Canisius. Her mother, Maureen P. Donley ’76, a clinical associate professor at UB School of Dental Medicine, and her brother, Michael D. Voss ’13 – now in medical school – are also Canisius graduates.

As a fourth generation alumna, Voss says Canisius ignited her own zest for adventure and inspired intellectual and cultural pursuits to achieve higher knowledge. After earning a bachelor’s degree in childhood and special education and a masters in literacy from Canisius, Voss taught pre-school and kindergarten for a few years.

“My educational philosophy as a teacher and in the work I do today stems from the invaluable opportunities I had at Canisius,” Voss says. “In learning from nurturing professors, I recognized the impact educators can have while motivating and empowering students.”

Today, Voss works as an instructional coach and professional development consultant for Discovery Education, a leader in digital content and education, and professional development resources used in classrooms worldwide. The company’s parent organization, Discovery Inc., is the media network best known for the Discovery Channel.

Voss currently facilitates learning sessions for teachers and administrators and introduces them to authentic learning experiences for students. In this role, she has worked with school districts in more than a dozen states. 

“Authentic learning happens when you step outside your comfort zone into experiences that inspire creativity,” Voss explains. “The Department of Education at Canisius gave me plenty of authentic learning experiences that have had a lasting effect and help to further my life’s mission as an educator.”

Voss notes that she also draws on her Canisius education as a content writer and project manager at Discovery Education. Last year, she wrote and managed the publication of professional sessions that Discovery Education presents globally. 

While she travels extensively for Discovery Education, Voss continues to call Western New York home. She says part of her purpose in education is to nurture the seeds that Canisius College planted for her and so many other graduates. That is why she volunteers as co-director of networking and events for the Buffalo chapter of the Canisius College Alumni Association, and strives to help fellow graduates make contacts and maintain connections.