Kerry Henrickson, assistant professor of biological sciences

Kerry Henrickson

Kerry Henrickson, assistant professor of biological sciences, died of cancer at her home on Jan. 26, 2011. She was 41.

Dr. Henrickson, who joined the university in 2008, taught pathology, human anatomy and physiology, and was known for engaging students in their own learning and for teaching other higher education professionals to employ active learning in the classroom.

“Dr. Henrickson brought to the NAU community an inspiring enthusiasm for helping students succeed,” said Maribeth Watwood, professor and chair of biological sciences. “She endeared herself to her colleagues, and we are saddened that her time with us was cut so short. She was a vibrant, gifted teacher, scholar and friend, and she will be sorely missed.”

Dr. Henrickson was born Nov. 19, 1969, to Bob and Jan Thomson of Great Falls, Mont. She graduated from C.M. Russell High School of Great Falls in 1988.

After earning undergraduate degrees in zoology, Spanish and chemistry from the University of Montana, Dr. Henrickson received a master’s in integrative biology from UC Berkeley. She returned to Montana, where she earned a master’s degree in journalism and worked as a crime reporter for the Ravalli Republic in Missoula.

A full-time anatomy and physiology instruction position at Cochise College brought Dr. Henrickson to Arizona in 2002. She earned a doctorate in professional studies in education from Capella University in 2007.

In her spare time, Dr. Henrickson enjoyed playing guitar, traveling and creating fused glass art objects.

Dr. Henrickson is survived by her husband, Jim; parents Jan and Bob Thomson; four aunts, four uncles; sister-in-law Mary Henrickson (Steve Flagg) of Bloomington, Minn.; brothers-in-law Ed (Myrna) Henrickson of Moorehead, Minn., and Dr. Myron (Joanne) Henrickson of Minneapolis; and many cousins, nephews and nieces.

Two memorial services will be held, the first at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at Norvell Owens Mortuary in Flagstaff. The second will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, in the Student Union Community Center at Cochise College’s Sierra Vista campus. A dispersal of her ashes will be held in July on Flathead Lake in Montana. Those wishing to remember Dr. Henrickson through memorials are asked to make a contribution to the charity or organization of their choice.