Karen comes to Kids Hope USA from a series of administrative and faculty roles at Hope College in Holland, MI. Karen, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry and an infectious enthusiasm for teaching, spent the early years of her career in positions at Bucknell University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Lawrence University, before moving to Hope in 2006. During her time as a faculty member at Lawrence, she won awards for teaching, student-faculty collaborative research and for developing innovative programs to engage middle school girls in science and math. Educational outreach, especially in the STEM fields with K-12 children, has always been a passion for Karen.
At Hope College, she served in two Associate Dean roles, as well as serving as the college’s provost in 2016-17. She is a collaborative leader who loves building high-functioning teams to address the changing needs of a group or organization. Her combination of educational and administrative experience as well as her commitment to the Christian faith and faith-based leadership, makes her well-suited to lead Kids Hope USA at this time of program change, growth and expansion.
Karen is inspired by the mission of Kids Hope USA and will return to her mentoring role at Vanderbilt Charter Academy through Hope Church. Karen loves to garden and cook, and served on the board of Eighth Day Farm, an urban farm in Holland. She and her husband have two children and live in Holland.