Meet Kathleen Edwards, APS Education Coordinator
Erin: What is your job title, and what do you do at APS?
Kathleen: I am the Education Coordinator and I work on adult and children’s programming, including C3a (online learning platform), Summer Seminar, YSCA and our local kid's stamp club, which is called Stamp Hunters.
E: How long have you worked for APS?
K: So it’s been about four years. I started in 2016 as a part-time youth assistant while I was working full time at the local library. But by the end of 2016, I was hired as full-time shows and exhibitions assistant and continued doing youth education. Then starting here in 2020, I moved to the education department full time as the Education Coordinator.
I feel like everyone that I have spoken to so far since I started has shared that they somehow started volunteering or attending APS in a way and then ended up working here, so it’s interesting how similar the stories are among everyone. What is the best part or fun parts of your job that most people don’t know about?
I would say I usually learn something new about philately every day because I knew nothing about it when I started. So when I’m looking up topics to teach the kids, it informs me about stamp collecting so I feel like I'm always learning a new fact.
I still remember at one of our meetings, you shared about an upcoming Stamp Hunters meeting where you were going to make cancellations out of potatoes, which I thought was really cool and a fun way to teach kids about the topic. I know you mentioned not knowing much about philately when you started, but I'm curious if you collect stamps now since you have been working at APS?
I guess unofficially I do. If I see stamps that I like, I keep them in a little folder and it’s usually literature related or cats. The one thing that I started . . . and this is inspired by Ross and Jim, so you’ll have to ask them about their interesting stamp collections too . . . I started trying to find stamps of people with bad hair.
That’s really interesting; I guess we all haveour interests, so it’s fun to hear what everyone collects. I really enjoy collecting cactus stamps.
So yeah, I guess I would say that I’m a stamp collector.
In 2019, Kathleen helped lead APS' Giving Tuesday efforts to support StampsTeach.
How have you transitioned to working from home? What have you been doing since you’ve been working from home?
Working home has been okay, although I do miss seeing my co-workers every day! My new co-workers are a fluffy cat, a hyper dog and a one-year-old! The Education Department has been working on content for C3a, making sure our members have interesting things to do while at home.
Is there one resource on the website you’d like to highlight for members that are connected to your job?
I would say C3a is something that is a really great educational resource, and while there are things you will eventually have to pay for on there, most of the content on there is free for members. YSCA members have a special section of the platform for their own stuff. It’s just a really great resource. Especially now when collectors can’t attend meetings, they can watch videos and learn different things on there.
I would definitely agree with that since many people are using online efforts to stay connected and this is a great way to still have an outlet to learn more about the hobby. I want to learn a little bit more about you, so what is a fun fact about you that you’d like to share with our members?
This might be something that many of the staff don’t know either, but I majored in fashion design in college and I really enjoy sewing, although I haven’t been able to do it a lot lately. I like sewing costumes and vintage dresses.
Very cool, that all makes sense too. I am working on crafts as well while I’ve been working from home so I’ll have to ask you about sewing sometime. So tell me something you enjoy about your interactions with members? Or a memory you have with a member from your job?
This is a memory I have from when I was a show’s assistant and sadly, this person has since then passed away. Labron Harris’ wife, Mary . . . the two of them always had a booth at every show. Mary would always write me a handwritten thank you note after every show, thanking me for all our hard work and appreciating all that we did. I actually kept the last one that I received from her . . . and I didn’t get to see her at the last show because I was on maternity leave . . . but I still have that letter.
I really enjoy talking with all the members and hearing their stories because they are all so different. Our members come from all over the country and different backgrounds and walks of life, so it’s always fun to connect with them.
It’s really amazing and personal to receive a handwritten note that is so meaningful, especially with the connection with philately here at APS, where we celebrate staying connected through letters. That is so sweet and I appreciate you sharing that sentiment and how much it meant to you to keep it. Thank you again for sharing about yourself and your impact at the American Philatelic Society.
Kathleen Edwards has been spearheading youth education efforts at the APS for the past four years, in the local community and virtually through Young Stamp Collectors of America.
When we announced the closure of the American Philatelic Center, members reached out with words of encouragement for the staff in appreciation for all they do. One member wrote, “Please tell them the APS Cares!” APS Cares is something that was born out of one member sharing their hope that staff is supported during this time. We thank them along with many others who have reached out and contributed with their kindness.
What is APS Cares? With our closure, certain services have been suspended, and with that, revenue for the Society. We cannot fully operate programs, like Expertizing, Circuit Sales, StampStore, or the library, but we are doing all we can until the doors open again. When the time comes, we want to be fully prepared to get you back to enjoying every service the APS has to offer as quickly as possible. APS Cares is a fund to allow us to keep our staff working and serving you, from the safety of their homes. APS Cares will go directly to support APS staff salaries or, if we’re able, to reward them at the end of the year for their hard work.
With this hope and support from APS Cares, our staff will be able to continue to bring joy and a place to unwind within in the world of philately. From your extended family at the American Philatelic Society, we offer our appreciation to you for staying connected with us.
If you would like to support APS Cares, you can send a check to:
American Philatelic Society
100 Match Factory Place
Bellefonte, PA 16823
c/o APS Cares
Or Support the APS Staff Online:
Please select APS Cares in the Gift Designation.