Dr. Kate - wonder woman

Kate Transchel

Kate Transchel

Photo By Tom Angel

She blazes into the classroom dressed comfortably in her nouveau-Bohemian attire of bulky silver jewelry and a contemporary, earth-colored-dress. A half-drunk Diet-Coke is clutched one hand, while the other hand is slowly running through her short brown hair.

“What’s up, Dr. Kate? You look stressed,” a student says from the front of the class.

With flailing arms and a smile on her face, Chico State University Professor Kate Transchel, “Dr. Kate,” takes in a huge breath and blurts out, “I slept in today until 4:30 a.m., so I got a late start and didn’t get to meditate. And my book is coming along, but I don’t know how the heck I’m going to finish it in two weeks. But we’re getting off the subject, so let’s talk Russian history.”

College professor is her day job, but Transchel’s extensive studies and numerous degrees in Russian history have made her somewhat of an ambassador between the United States and Russia. Since 1997 she has been giving three- to four-day cross-cultural seminars a few times a year to U.S. military officers and Coast Guard officials about the history and culture of Russia. The purpose of the seminars is to help U.S. military officers communicate better with Russian officers, in order to manifest positive relations between the two countries.

Also since 1997, she has been an Enloe Hospital Hospice volunteer and says it is the greatest thing she’s ever done in her life.

She was feeling modest, so Hospice Director Nancy Martin explained, “Her job as a hospice volunteer is twofold: to relieve the family, because caring for the dying is such a tremendous responsibility. Also, to be there for the person who’s dying, because oftentimes they need to process things that their family can’t handle, like an affair or a fight with their daughter.”

Transchel said she once had a woman who needed to talk about what a vamp and vixen she was as a young girl because “as she was being eaten away with cancer she really needed to remember when she was young and beautiful.”

Transchel was humbled at the idea that she is a local hero and laughingly said, "I feel lucky enough to have a very real influence on people in certain ways, but my drive is a desire to be of love and service to those around me on a daily basis."