Kathleen Halloran Liska, Interview with Melissa Newman, 2021


Kathy Halloran Liska, 1964 (photo contributed by interviewee)

Interview Transcript


Kathleen Halloran Liska, Interview with Melissa Newman, 2021


Kathy Halloran Liska (née Halloran) is the middle child of six children (three girls and three boys) that were born and raised two miles from Mundelein College in Chicago. She was a Biology major and graduated from Mundelein in 1964. Being so close to school, Kathy talks about commuting with her friend [Herta Kaiser]. At one point Kathy contemplated becoming a nun, but upon realizing she wanted to have kids, she discarded the idea. She fondly remembers Sister Cecilia, the biology department chairmen, and working with her as a lab teaching assistant. Kathy also held jobs as a switchboard and elevator operator during her time at Mundelein. Since her family did not have a car in the city, Kathy remembers Mundelein giving her the first opportunities to get out of Chicago with trips and socials to other colleges, skiing with the outing club, and a trip to the Indiana Dunes with the biology department’s sorority, Beta Beta Beta (Tri Beta). Kathy talks briefly about the national unrest during her time at Mundelein in the 1960s, but focuses on her studies, jobs, and friends on campus.

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Date Created

November 17, 2021


Kathleen “Kathy” Halloran Liska was born and raised in Chicago with five brothers and sisters. She and her family lived only two miles from Mundelein College, so Kathy had always been familiar with its iconic Skyscraper building. Growing up, her father encouraged her to be curious about the natural world, showing her plants, animals, and creatures and taking her and her siblings to Chicago’s museums. It was natural for her to then major in biology and minored in chemistry at Mundelein when she enrolled in 1960.
Living so close-by, she commuted to school and lived at home after graduating, which was how she was able to encourage her mother to also attend Mundelein beginning in 1965. Kathy graduated in 1964, and her mother and youngest sister, Mary Anne, graduated from Mundelein in 1969. Then her mother worked as a secretary for Mundelein after graduating. Kathy’s older sister, Patricia, also went to Mundelein for two years from 1958-1960, took a break to get married, and then finished her schooling at Loyola.
A large positive takeaway Kathy has from attending an all-women's high school and college was the sense of encouragement and empowerment she felt in her capabilities.

Interviewer Biography

Melissa Newman was a graduate student at Loyola University Chicago and a graduate assistant at the Women and Leadership Archives 2020-2022.

Time Log

[0:00 - 5:00]: Introductions, family background, how she ended up at Mundelein, and getting interested in going to college later.
[5:00 - 10:00]: Classes she took, professors she remembers, being a lab teaching assistant, and other family members who went to Mundelein.
[10:00 - 15:00]: Mother worked for Vice President of Mundelein, commuting to school, and places on campus she frequented.
[15:00 - 20:00]: What she did in between classes.
[20:00 - 25:00]: Being a lab teaching assistant, other jobs on campus, on-campus meals, and places around campus to eat.
[25:00 - 30:00]: Making friends, more classes she took, and experience at an all-women's college.
[30:00 - 35:00]: Boys and girls learning both gender’s “jobs,” dating, and Mundelein socials.
[35:00 - 40:00]: Socials continued, thinking she was going to be a nun, and activities on campus she did (sorority).
[40:00 - 45:00]: Biology major’s sorority, class trips, and professors that had an impact on her.
[45:00 - 50:00]: Professors continued and finding what she wanted to do at Mundelein.
[50:00 - 55:00]: Changes to Mundelein while she was attending and after, lab partners, and Civil Rights marches.
[55:00 - 1:00:22]: John F. Kennedy assassination, sticking to biology as her major, and wrap up.


Adler Planetarium, KL 40-45
Alice, KL 25-30, KL 45-50
Bodman, Sister Cecilia, KL 5-10, KL 20-25, KL 25-30, KL 40-45, KL 50-55
BVMs (Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary), KL 25-30
Chicago, KL 0-5, KL 40-45, KL 45-50, KL 55-60
Chicago Loop, KL 30-35
Civil Rights Marches, KL 50-55
Des Plaines, KL 0-5
Devon Avenue, KL 0-5, KL 10-15
England, KL 40-45
Europe, KL 45-50
Girl Scouts, KL 5-10
Grill, KL 20-25
Hruby, Norbert, KL 5-10, KL 10-15
Illinois Institute of Technology, KL 30-35
Immaculata High School, KL 25-30
Indiana, KL 35-40
Indiana Dunes, KL 40-45
Ireland, KL 45-50
Jones, Dave, KL 55-60
Kaiser, Herta, KL 10-15
Kennedy, John F., KL 55-60
Kennelly, Sister Marina, KL 45-50
Lake Geneva, KL 40-45
Loyola University Chicago, KL 10-15, KL 30-35
Madison, Wisconsin, KL 0-5, KL 30-35
Madonna della Strada, KL 10-15
Majestic Hills, KL 40-45
Mary Anne, KL 5-10, KL 10-15, KL 40-45
Maryville Academy, KL 0-5
Mundelein College, KL 0-5, KL 5-10, KL 10-15, KL 25-30, KL 30-35, KL 35-40, KL 40-45, KL 45-50, KL 50-55, KL 55-60
Museum of Science and Industry, KL 40-45
Nancy, KL 0-5, KL 20-25, KL 30-35, KL 50-55
Natural History Museum, KL 40-45
New York City, KL 45-50
Notre Dame, KL 30-35
Outing Club, KL 35-40
Palatine, KL 0-5
Pat, KL 5-10
Rose, Sister Sharon, KL 40-45
Scholasticate, KL 50-55
Shedd Aquarium, KL 40-45
Sheridan Road, KL 20-25, KL 55-60
Skyscraper (Building), KL 15-20
Smoker, KL 15-20
St. Henry’s School, KL 0-5
St. Joseph’s College, KL 35-40
St. Mary’s College, KL 30-35, KL 35-40
St. Scholastica High School, KL 0-5, KL 25-30
St. Teresa’s College, KL 35-40
TDS Internet, KL 30-35
Tri-Beta, KL 35-40, KL 40-45
United States of America, KL 55-60
University of Chicago, KL 30-35, KL 40-45
Walgreens, KL 20-25
Winona, Minnesota, KL 35-40


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