As friends and family celebrate the life of Zach Koch, UA's Dr. Stephen Katsinas reflected as well in a personal and heartfelt statement.

Dr. Katsinas serves the University of Alabama Director of the Educational Policy Center. Today, WVUA-TV 23 posted his thoughtful comments celebrating the life of the recent graduate.

Dear Colleagues:

It is with profound sadness that I announce of the passing of Zach Koch, who served as Creative Director of the Education Policy Center from August to December of 2015.

Zach majored in Graphic Design with a minor in Digital Photography, graduating at the Fall 2015 Commencement. His role for the Education Policy Center focused on media and photography, and he played a major role in revamping the Center’s graphics standards. Zach was particularly proud of his work as a photographer for the Carl Elliott Honor Society, UA’s prestigious service honorary. His photos enrich the Society’s website and other promotional materials, and the enthusiasm he brought to his work with the society had an immense impact, particularly on the eighth-grade attendees of the Society’s Kick-Start College program.

I also had the honor of working with Zach in documenting the Civil Rights Bus Tour in November 2015, which was attended by members of both Alabama’s and Mississippi’s Education Policy Fellows Programs. On this trip, Zach captured impressive videography with Roscoe Jones, our tour guide in Philadelphia, MS, where he showed us the Freedom School and site where the three civil rights workers were buried. Zach and Mr. Jones walked to the top of the Alabama State Capitol to see where Governor Wallace watched Martin Luther King, Jr. give his epic speech at the conclusion of the Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March fifty years ago. Like me, Zach was amazed that the old capitol’s state senate was restored to its 1860 likeness to mark Alabama’s secession, but that, while there was a star marking Jefferson Davis’ inauguration, there was none marking where King gave his speech. It was in moments like this that Zach showed his true character and humanity.

Zach had a warm presence and a smile for all with whom he came in contact. His kind heart and caring soul will be missed. My colleagues at the Education Policy Center and I know he will rest in peace; we hope his family will be comforted in the sure knowledge of his positive impact and love for others, especially young college hopefuls.

Steve Katsinas, Director