About Mary Kay
Humor Quest founder Mark Kay Morrison, a consummate education professional, believes learning needs to be engaging and fun. She has taught kindergartners up to college students and loves learners of all ages.
After decades in the classroom and as an administrator in a regional office of education in northern Illinois, Mary Kay expanded her pupil list to include professionals and other educators all over the world with her humor-in-education series of lectures and workshops.
Through her research into cognitive learning and humor, Mary Kay teaches the current generation of teachers and education professionals about healthy humor using the positive energy of humor – or “Humergy” – to promote balance and to reduce stress.
For more than 20 years she has been providing keynote presentations and breakout workshop sessions internationally. She organized, developed and continues to teach the first International Humor Academy for The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH).
Her keynote address at a Humor in Education Conference in Izmir, Turkey was televised, as was an interview on “Your Voice,” a Canadian TVO segment. She has been a keynote speaker for the International Society of Humor Studies, for the Illinois Principals Association and for numerous education and medical associations. She has been interviewed by PBS in Alaska and was featured in an article on Humor and Healing in the Rockford Registar Star.
Mary Kay designed, planned and
implemented the Humor Academy
graduate and certificate program
for AATH in 2010.
Mary Kay serves on the
Board of Directors for the
Association for Applied and
List of Clients & Presentations
Mary Kay has delivered her message of hope, optimism and humor to hundreds of groups, organizations and schools, including:
• Humor and Education Conference, Izmir, Turkey
• AATH Humor Academy Graduate Class
• YMCA Rally Days
• Bradley University Student Leadership Team
• ISHS; International Society for Humor Studies
• AATH; Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor
• TVO; Your Voice; Canadian Public Television Broadcast
• Department of Children and Family Services
• IASCD; Illinois Statewide Conference for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Educators
• Chicago Principals Association
• National Louis University Commencement address
• National Staff Development Council
• Illinois State Board of Education
• Illinois Principals Association
• Regional Offices of Education
• Delta Kappa Gamma
• Special Populations Conferences
• Mental Health Agencies
• Dominican Nuns Retreat
• Regional Office of Education Student Achievement Conference
• Northern Illinois University
• Kishwaukee College
• Rock Valley College
• Regional Office Bus Drivers Training
• Rockford Schools Food Service Workers
• Rockford Network of Professional Women
• MC5 Conference: St. Louis, MO
• New Lexington School District: New Lexington, OH
• Peoria Catholic Diocese Schools: Princeton, IL
• Rockford Schools: Rockford, IL
• DCFS: Springfield, IL
• Cancer Treatment Centers of America: Zion, IL
• YWCA: Rockford, IL
• Rock Valley Credit Unit: Machesney Park, IL
• Mended Hearts, Swedish American Hospital: Rockford, IL
• Methodist Spring Luncheon: Rockford, IL
• Toastmasters International: St. Charles, IL
• AATH Conference: San Diego, CA
• SHRM: Rockford, IL
• Delta Kappa Zeta: Rockford, IL
• YMCA Rally Days: Rockford, IL
• Alignment Rockford: Talk2Me: Rockford, IL
• Ladies in Professional Power: Rockford, IL.
• Rock Valley College: Rockford,IL.
• Nicholas Conservatory; Rockford,IL.
• Student Teacher Celebration; Rockford College, Rockford, IL
• Sandwich Schools Institute Days, Sandwich, IL
• AATH International Conference, Chicago, IL
• Department of Children and Family Services, Springfield, IL.
• Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH) Humor Academy, Orlando, Florida
• Sandwich School District, Sandwich, IL
• Rock Valley College: CLR, Rockford IL
• Women in Networking WIN, Freeport, IL
• Alignment Rockford; RPS #205, Rockford, IL
• East High School, Rockford, IL
• Bus Driver Training; Regional Office of Education, Rockford, IL
• Catholic Diocese Of Springfield , Springfield, IL
• Sinsinawa Dominican Convent Retreat: Sinsinawa, WI
• Humor in Education Conference, Ismir, Turkey
• Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH) Humor Academy, Disneyland, California
• IASCD – Kindergarten Conference, Schaumburg, IL
• Bradley University Student Leadership Conference, Peoria, IL
• Arts Council Workshop, Rockford, IL
• Happiness Club, Loves Park, IL
• Lee/Ogle County Retired Teachers, White Pines State Park, IL
• International Society for Humor Studies (ISHS), Long Beach, CA
• Chicago Principal Association, Chicago, IL
• Kishwaukee College Fall Orientation, Malta, IL
• Barnes and Noble Education Week Seminar, DeKalb, IL
• Strategic Planning Harrison School District, Wonder Lake, IL
• Using Humor School Seminar, Phoenix, AZ
• YMCA Leadership Workshop, Rockford, IL
• Rock Valley College Tutor Conference, Rockford, IL
• 4-H Leaders Conference, Winnebago County, IL
• Parent Academy, Wonder Lake, IL
• Early Childhood Spring Conference, Highland College, Freeport, IL
“Using Humor to Maximize Living is a groundbreaking book that brings in the latest that neuroscience has to offer on humor and the brain. Morrison is a gifted teacher, writer, and trainer of people at all levels on how to apply humor to everyday living. She now takes her years of experience working with people in both the classroom and as a trainer to share numerous practical applications. Whether you are a teacher, health care professional, or lay person, you will find this book a key to a joy-filled life.”
– Earl Henslin, author; counselor; and faculty member at Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University
“In Using Humor to Maximize Living, Morrison explains and illustrates the fundamentals of ‘applied humor.’ We’re not talking about ‘comedy’ here, but humor that is applied in specific situations for specific purposes. This gem of a book is about creating a more humorous and joyful atmosphere at work by incorporating humor into your leader-ship, management, and work skills. Leaders today must know how to create teams, and motivate individuals and groups. All workers must become more flexible and interactive with their colleagues and this is where humor can be so helpful. Morrison teaches that humor is one of the important elements in a leader’s or manager’s or worker’s tool belt of workplace skills.”
– Karyn Buxman, former president of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor; international speaker; and series author of What’s So Funny About…Diabetes?,…Heart Disease?, and…Prostate Cancer?
“Using Humor to Maximize Living, captures and reviews the current research on the science of humor. It also describes some groundbreaking studies on the neurobiology of humor, as well as what we currently understand about our own humor development. As a result of these new insights, Morrison shows us how to truly maximize our daily living and interactions with others through the modernization of these new humor applications. Morrison has been teaching and facilitating workshops about the benefits of humor for over twenty years. She has a vast knowledge-base in humor and it continues to be a privilege to work together in teaching the international graduate Humor academy classes for the association for applied and therapeutic Humor.”
– Lee Berk, professor of Health Promotion, Loma Linda University; CNN Contributor; humor studies researcher
“I attended your symposium in Izmir, Turkey. So I know you are professional at this subject. And I want to say that I started to make more jokes and using humor in my class after your symposium—now school is more enjoyable for me and for my students. Now, they smile more and have fun more. I’m obliged to you for it!”
– Workshop participant, Izmir, Turkey
“Mary Kay is an inspirational force in today’s ‘not-so-inspirational’ world. Mary Kay and I have worked alongside each other for the past year on the Board of Directors for the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor, and I have always found her to be insightful, dedicated, and never afraid to roll up her sleeves and get dirty to get the job done.”
– Chip Lutz, President Elect, Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor
“What a joy it is to work with Mary Kay on the board of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. She always has wonderful insightful ideas and goes above and beyond her duties. I wish all board members had such passion.”
– Allen Klein, Author, The Healing Power of Humor
“When we decided to hold a conference about the power of humor in education in our school, I did some research about experts in the field and found Mary Kay Morrison. I emailed her to give information about our conference and ask her if she would be willing to come to Turkey to lecture Turkish teachers. I did not know that I was going to gain a wonderful friend.
“For months, we corresponded about the content of the conference to meet the needs of Turkish teachers and about cultural differences in humor. It turned out that Mary Kay’s humor is universal! Except for a few jokes that are based on language differences, we could use everything she suggested.
“Our conference was for 250 Turkish teachers and academicians from all over Turkey. One of the teachers wrote on her feedback form: “I had great fun in learning today, and I am going to carry everything I learned today to my classroom!”
When all the teachers who attended the conference start to use more humor in their classrooms, Mary Kay will have touched the lives of at least 5000 Turkish children!
– Handan Oktar, Administrator, Isikkent School, Izmir, Turkey