Monday, April 12, 2010

Barbara Krohn - UW Communications Trailblazer

May I humbly call your attention to a blog written by Seattle writer Jeff Christiansen February 12, 2009 on his blog at concerning the recent death of a long and very much admired mutual friend Seattle's Barbara A. Krohn, whose well-written paid obituary has just appeared in today's online edition of the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Whether or not you ever had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Krohn during her lifetime both blog and obituary are well worth reading. Her firm published the invaluable reference known as the Washington Education Directory for the Superintendent of Public Instruction for Washington State for over thirty five years.

The fact that Krohn's obituary can be accessed on the website of a newspaper entertaining the all to soon possibility of its own physical demise reflects in many ways the bold advances and dynamic transitions upon which the profession of print journalism to whom she gave many years of her life has been continually requested and is still being called upon to navigate.

Those of us whose membership in generations which arrived since - particularly females, are especially forever indebted to pioneers such as Krohn, who was the first woman named to be publisher of student publications at the University of Washington back in a day and age when a good many individuals felt comfortable thinking and saying aloud such an appointment would never come to pass!

As difficult as it is for some to image a date when just being a woman was considered to be a crippling handicap, to successfully compete and be selected to take positions such as this even among the ranks of enlightened institutions of higher learning, or that such blatant discrimination passed as normal were blessedly shattered specifically because of the determination and persistence displayed by hardy trailblazers like she.

The diligence showed by these women in both mental and physical realms ensured that their initial tracks through these virgin territories in both spheres could well be missed by crowds since lured to cruise along the densely occupied social and cultural highways which their initial forays began.

Krohn often credited the heritage bequeathed by pioneering grandparents who homesteaded land along the Columbia River in 1881 (eventually becoming a part of Washington State) for her faith, diligence and tenacity. The example of her parents in combination with her own upbringing served as well to enhance the talents she brought informing and expanding access to the press and other communication resources while encouraging her fellow man to establish their own links to the same empowering values and ideals.

ultimate legacy (which includes milestones not listed here) will continue to be enjoyed and provide a lighted beacon of inspiration during the highly daunting challenge before us of learning to navigate transitions which have since popped up in the radar of our shared horizons.

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