In 1967, Trudy Knowles left her small town in Kentucky to attend Lake Forest College, thirty miles north of Chicago. In addition to attending class and studying, Trudy played softball on the campus green, hung out in Hixson Lounge, played her guitar under the trees, and became involved in the anti-war movement. In the spring of 1970 Trudy attended the college’s study-abroad program in Athens, Greece, intending to return for her senior year. Instead, she embarked on a trip around the world, traveling with a friend in a VW van. When the van was sold in Kabul, Afghanistan, they continued their travels for two more years using public transportation. The trip transformed her life.
When she returned from her trip, Trudy completed her undergraduate education at Centre College in Kentucky, received her master’s degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and obtained her doctorate at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She taught in teacher education programs at the university level for a quarter of a century, first at Sinte Gleska University in Mission, South Dakota, and then for twenty-two years at Westfield State University in Westfield, MA. She retired in 2016.
Trudy Knowles is an author, educator, public speaker, and workshop facilitator. She is the author of The Kids Behind the Label: An Inside Look at ADHD for Classroom Teachers, co-author (with Dave Brown) of What Every Middle School Teacher Should Know. In addition to her books, Trudy has authored numerous educational articles. Her educational research and writing focus on giving voice to students. Trudy has consulted and presented workshops throughout the country on ADHD, arts integration, curriculum design, and ways to help students be successful in school by including them in the teaching/learning process.
Trudy has self-published four books. It's Been a Good Life is a memoir of her mother and father. The Love Story of Rex and Jessie Knowles continues the story of her mom and dad. 51 Short Stories, 14 Essays, and 5 Poems of Mediocre Quality Written During the Lockdown of 2020 is a collection of writings created in four writing groups during the first seven months of lockdown due to Covid-19. Radishes and Red Bandanas is a novel about speaking out even when it's hard and about the transformational power of love to help in times of tragedy. The backdrop of the story is the Vietnam War and the protests against it. All of the books are available on Amazon.
Trudy lives in Westfield, Massachusetts, with her husband. She has five children, two who live in Western Massachusetts and three who live on the west coast. She has three grandsons and one granddaughter, the lights of her life.
An activist since the early sixties, Trudy still protests, marches, demonstrates, writes letters, and speaks out for peace and social justice. Her life motto comes from a bumper sticker she saw in upstate New York one day, “Dance with Reckless Abandon.” She does that every day of her life.