Journal article Open Access

Kendra Koivu: Remembering a Qualitative Methodologist

Mahoney, James

I think fuzzy-set analysis is really useful.” Those are the words that I remember Kendra Koivu saying as she began to make a comment during an APSA meeting in which some leaders from the qualitative methods section were chatting with graduate students. Kendra was still a graduate student herself, and the context of the meeting was a brown bag lunch for students participating in the qualitative methods working group sponsored by APSA. I blushed as she began talking because she learned about fuzzy-set analysis from me, and I wanted to keep anything related to set-theoretic analysis out of the discussion. As she continued to speak, however, my emotion shifted from a twinge of discomfort to a sweeping feeling of admiration and pride. She spoke about the value of set-theoretic methods with authenticity, conviction, and intelligence. I thought her remarks were courageous. I never told Kendra that her comment was inspiring for me, but it was. I returned to that memory many times over the years.

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