After teaching at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Tom Kachel joined the Southwest Missouri State University Department of Home Economics in 1980. He was responsible for the development of contract design classes for the growing interior design program. He retired as assistant professor of fashion and interior design.
To honor Kachel as a founding member of the Springfield Design Association, the organization hosted a December party in his honor.
Kachel intends to remain active on campus and in the community by teaching a few courses each semester.