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Alumni Spotlight: Casey and Kate Maude

February 8, 2017

It’s not uncommon for students to meet their significant others while attending college, but UW-River Falls has a couple that emphasizes a unique example of that.

Casey and Kate Maude are a married couple, both working as lecturers in the English Department at UWRF. They reside in town with their two children and have worked together at the university for over a decade now.

Having both met at UWRF during their undergraduate studies, the Maudes went to the school from different backgrounds. While Kate initially wanted to attend UW-Madison, she decided to attend UWRF because her older brothers attended school there, and she felt that the smaller class sizes were more appealing.

“I was into punk rock and stuff,” Kate said, “but Madison seemed overwhelming because of the size, so the smaller class sizes worked for me.”

While UW-Madison didn’t cross Casey’s mind when he chose UWRF, he also wanted to attend a school that was close to home. Thinking he would try out for the baseball team, he later strayed away from the athletics for other interests, such as pottery and writing.

“This was close to home,” he said, “so it felt familiar.”

Both Casey and Kate enjoy the town of River Falls, specifically the scenic beauty of the Kinnickinnic River. Being that students could take as many ceramics classes as they wanted back then, Casey spent much of his time making pottery while working on his English degree. Kate, who was also an English major, was involved with editing Prologue, the school’s student art and literary publication.

Casey and Kate met through a mutual friend, and coincidentally, they were both involved in the Europe Semester Abroad program. Over their time preparing for the trip, they developed their relationship, and after their experience in Europe, they fell in love.

“It came at a really convenient time,” said Casey, “and by the end we traveled to Europe, and it helped solidify our relationship.”

After graduation, Casey and Kate continued to live in River Falls, with Kate working at a frame shop, while Casey worked at Red Wing Stoneware making pottery. After discussing what to do with her degree, she decided to attend the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, earning a master’s degree in English. While in Arkansas, Casey would later join Kate in attending graduate school, earning a master’s in English, as well.

Unclear on what to do next, they decided to move back to River Falls after they finished graduate school, renting a house from Kate’s former boss at the frame shop. Unexpectedly, they found out that their house was not far from campus, and one day they came across current English Department Chair Marshall Toman.

“I think we both bumped into him while we were walking the dog,” Casey recalled. “And he said, ‘Hey, we’re always hiring,’ and so that’s how it all started.”

Now that they’re both faculty working at the same school where they met, they still enjoy the size and the engagement they have with their students and fellow faculty.

“For me, teaching in a small class of maybe 24 students, I get to know those students individually, and that makes it more enjoyable,” Kate said.

For their advice for students, the two emphasize having positive connections with their professors and students.

“With a lot of people from small town and big cities,” said Casey, “you’re going to have a lot of opportunities to meet people from different places.”