Mary Kay Morrison
Most Recent Book Title
Using Humor to Maximize Living
Book Description
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, Mary Kay shows us how to truly maximize our daily living and interactions with others through the modernization of these new humor applications. Mary Kay has been teaching and facilitating workshops about the benefits of humor for over 20 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.
Additional Book Titles
Using Humor to Maximize Learning
Location (city/state/country)
Rockford, IL. USA
Author bio
Mary Kay Morrison
Founder/Director, Humor Quest
322 Canary Drive
Caledonia, IL 61011

Mary Kay Morrison is an educator who has taught at every level of the educational spectrum, facilitating keynote presentations and workshop sessions for the past 30 years. Her work includes integrating the application of cognitive research on emotions and movement to the learning process. In addition to humor and stress management, Mary Kay has conducted seminars on brain research, leadership, ADHD, group facilitation, and parenting. Mary Kay is founder and director of Humor Quest. She is Past President of the Board of Directors for the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH) and the 2016 AATH Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. She served as the 2010-11 AATH conference chair. In 2009, she founded and currently volunteers for the international AATH Humor Academy graduate study and CHP (Certified Humor Professional) program. Mary Kay is a Diplomat with the American Institute of Stress (AIS). As a member of the Illinois NCLB implementation team, she conducted “Train the Trainer” sessions for the State Board of Education on school improvement and mentoring. She has served on several community boards.

Her publications, are textbooks for humor studies courses at several universities and for the groundbreaking international graduate Humor Academy offered by the AATH (Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.)
• Using Humor to Maximize Learning, Exploring Links between Positive Emotions and Education
• Using Humor to Maximize Living: Connecting with Humor
• Legacy of Laughter: A Grandparent Guide and Playbook (2021)
U-Tube Video
• Morrison, Mary Kay. “Bubble Wrap and Bubble Gun. Where did the Summer Go?” American Institute of Stress; Volume 7 Number 3. 2018 pages 10-12
• Morrison, Mary Kay. “Ten Reasons that Humor is FUNdamental to Creating an Appropriate” 21st Century Education July 2012, Education Editors, Robert Sylwester and David Moursund
Interviews and Reviews
Walsh, Tim: Play in Education. May 2019
AATH Laugh Box interview 2018 Episode 12: Interview with Mary Kay Morrison - YouTube
Barreca, Gina, “Mary Kay Morrison’s Words to Life By: More Rules, Less Fun” Psychology Today
TVO Voice: Canadian interview; How Humor Effects Learning:
ELN Connect:
Horovitz, Bruce: USA Today Feb. 2, 2017 Laughing Until You Die
Hamblin, James: IF Our Bodies Could Talk pp 115-123 NY Doubleday 2016
January Jones; Blog Talk Radio Feb. 11, 2014
Voice of America with Mary Medina and Margaret Ruff. May 16, 2013
National Education Association

Workshops and Seminars

• AATH Humor Academy, San Diego, CA
• Cell and Developmental Biology Dept. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
• Greencastle Senior Center of Elmhurst, Il.
• Rock Valley College, Rockford, IL
• International Laughter Yoga Conference, Zion, IL
• AATH Conference, San Diego, CA
• Northern Illinois Alumni Association, Naperville, IL.
• Albuquerque Diocese Teacher Institute, Albuquerque, NM
• Rockford University, Rockford, IL
• Northern Illinois Association, DeKalb, IL
• Illinois Diabetes Symposium, Bloomington, IL.
• Southern Fried Laughter Conference, Atlanta, GA.
• Swedish American Hospital Cardiology Millennium Conference, Rockford, IL
• University of Illinois: East Central Illinois A.E.Y.C.
• Missouri MC5 workshop, St. Louis, MO
• Cancer Treatment Centers of America Zion, IL
• Toastmasters International St. Charles, IL
• Rockford SHRM, Rockford, IL
• Mended Hearts, Swedish American Hospital, Rockford, IL
• New Lexington Schools, New Lexington, Ohio
• YWCA Rockford, IL
• Rock Valley Credit Union, Loves Park, IL
• Healing Pathways Cancer Survivors, Rockford, IL
• St. Theresa Schools, Decatur, IL
• DCFS Train the Trainers, Springfield, IL
• North Boone School District, Popular Grove, IL
• Alignment Rockford and Rockford Public Schools, Rockford, IL.
• YMCA Rally Days, Rockford, IL
• DCFS Conference, Springfield, IL
• AATH International Humor Academy, Orlando, Fl
• Humor in Education Conference, Izmir, Turkey

• AATH International Humor Academy, Disneyland, California 

• IASCD Kindergarten Conference, Schaumburg, IL

• Bradley University Student Leadership Conference, Peoria IL
• ISHS International Society for Humor Studies, Long Beach, CA
• Using Humor: School Seminar, Phoenix, AZ

• YMCA Leadership Workshop, Rockford, IL

• “Talk 2 Me: Promoting Secure Attachment” Train the Trainer series: Rockford Alignment Healthy Starts Committee, Winnebago County, IL. 

• Commencement Address; College of Education National Louis University, Lake Geneva, WI.


“I have had the privilege of experiencing Mary Kay Morrison's talents through presentations, workshops, webinars, teleconferences, and the facilitation of a board meeting. I don't know of anyone who can match her enthusiasm, expertise, and passion. She has presented around the country and internationally--the results are the same regardless of the language--she blows people away! Anyone wanting to chat with me personally about her abilities may contact directly. Be prepared--I can go on about her for hours.”
Karyn Buxman, RN, MSN, CSP, CPAE
President AATH (Association for Applied & Therapeutic 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
Professional Speaker Topics
The Humor Tonic
Got Stress? Get Humor!
Legacy of Laughter: A Grandparent Playbook
Use It or Lose It: Humor and Aging
Favorite Quote or Personal Motto

I am serious about humor!

  • Mary Kay Morrison

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