Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Highly relational and energetic, Karen has a passion for people and a heart to make a difference in the lives of those around her. An agent for change, she has a successful track record recruiting, leading and building teams, event planning and execution, development, project management, community relations, and more. For 7 years Karen was an integral player in the launch of community and global partnerships at a large multi-campus faith-based organization in Gwinnett. She strategically created opportunities for personal engagement that opened individual’s eyes and hearts to the needs of people around them while building and reinforcing these partnerships with resources: financial, people, and material. An advisory board member for multiple years with the Greater Gwinnett Reentry Alliance (GGRA), she served as president in 2017. In its early years, Karen oversaw marketing, branding, and web resource development for the organization. GGRA has been noted around the state as a reentry coalition model to follow and has received recognition at the state level. Her presidency culminated with her presentation at GGRA’s annual reentry conference (Changing Laws, Changing Lives) in which Governor Nathan Deal, local legislators, the Gwinnett County Sheriff and local law enforcement representatives, educators, and members of the community were in attendance.

A natural networker and connector of people, her affiliation with GGRA forged a partnership with Georgia Gwinnett College through a Community Innovations Project (CIP). The CIP partnership engages content students are learning in the classroom in solving real problems. The final result yielded a web-based portal of resource access for the community. Currently a member of the development team with the Salvation Army Metro Atlanta Area Command, she grew revenue within her assigned caseload over 450% in year one, 40% in year two working with private businesses and corporations, foundations, and private individuals. The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need. The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit.

Karen earned her Bachelor of Science degree (Psychology) with a minor in Criminology at Georgia Gwinnett College where she graduated with honors, was a member of Psi Chi (Int’l Honor Society in psychology), and commencement speaker finalist. Karen is currently pursuing her graduate degree (MPA) at the University of Georgia. Karen is a fitness enthusiast, an avid runner, enjoys hiking, waterfalls, and the outdoors.

Education

Psychology/Criminology Georgia Gwinnett College 2017

Research Interests

Social services and poverty alleviation benefits cliffs