Bio_Kathryn D. Marocchino - Conference and Event Services

Biographical Sketch for Kathryn D. Marocchino, PhD, FT
Dr. Kathryn D. Marocchino is a Professor of Liberal Arts and
Social Sciences in the Department of Global and Maritime
Studies at California State University Maritime, a professional
translator, and the author of several books and articles. She is
also the president and founder of The Nikki Hospice Foundation
for Pets (The NHFP), the nation’s first non-profit organization
devoted to the provision of hospice care for terminally ill
companion animals.
Dr. Marocchino holds a doctorate in Modern Foreign Languages and Literature from the
University of Turin (Italy), where she also completed pre-doctoral course work in
biological sciences and where she held a lectureship for several years before coming to
the United States. She has also taught at the University of California at Davis and at
Stanford University.
Her life-long interest in thanatology led her to complete a hospice volunteer training
course through the Kaiser Permanente Hospice Program in Vallejo in 1995, and in 1999,
she pioneered her campus’s first service-learning course—an elective sociology class
entitled “Dying: The Final Stage of Living”—in conjunction with Kaiser Vallejo’s Hospice
Department. Currently, she directs CSU Maritime’s Community Service Learning Center,
where she coordinates all campus community service-learning projects for faculty, staff
and students.
Dr. Marocchino also holds a certificate of completion for the Professional Program in the
Study of Loss and Grief through UC Berkeley Extension. She provides grief support to
pet caregivers on a nationwide basis through The NHFP’s telephone counseling service
and also offers weekly pet loss workshops (the only support of its kind in Solano County),
through a unique partnership with the Benicia-Vallejo Humane Society.
She is also a Fellow in Thanatology (FT) through ADEC (Association for Death Education
and Counseling) and holds a certificate in Critical Incident Stress Management from the
International CISM Foundation. She now provides on-going bereavement support for the
Vallejo community at large as well as for students, faculty and staff at CSU Maritime and
is also a consultant on the campus Emergency Preparedness Committee. She currently
serves on ADEC’s Human Resource Network and is chair of the ADEC Pet Loss Special
Interest Group. In 2005, she and her husband, Gianfranco, were awarded the
President’s Lifetime Volunteer Call to Service Award for their work in The NHFP.
Dr. Marocchino has been a guest on both radio and television shows, explaining the
revolutionary work of The NHFP and promoting the concept of veterinary hospice care—a
topic she has also discussed at a number of professional conferences, with audiences
ranging from veterinarians and veterinary technicians to mental health/hospice personnel
and death educators. Her articles on the subject are among the first of their kind to be
published in both professional journals and in lay publications. Presently, she is working
on a book about The NHFP and on the first handbook of veterinary hospice care.
In the past, she has presented or given workshops on veterinary hospice care at ADEC;
Wild West Veterinary Conference; UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital;
Benicia-Vallejo Humane Society; Kaiser Vallejo’s Hospice Department; CSU Fullerton’s
2nd Annual Continuums of Service Conference; First PAWS Summit on the Healing
Power of the Human-Animal Bond; Napa Solano Veterinary Medical Association;
Animal Care Center of Rohnert Park, California; and Peninsula Humane Society of San
Mateo, California.
Abstract for Kathryn D. Marocchino, PhD, FT
Title of Keynote Speech: “Remembering Our Spirit”
This keynote speech will cover the history and evolution of The Nikki Hospice
Foundation for Pets, providing a client’s personal perspective, and will also focus on the
importance of merging both psychosocial and spiritual aspects with medical aspects if
veterinary hospice care is to succeed in its intent to provide true comfort care. Stories
from NHFP clients will be shared, and questions concerning bioethical and philosophical
issues will be raised to provide the audience with food for thought.