PhD Candidate, Former Assistant Dean of Student Life and
Director of Disability Support Services at an Ivy League University
“Find the gifts in learning and thinking differently”
Professionally, Karen has taught university, counselled and advised students, and most recently was the Director of Disability Support Services and Assistant Dean of Students at an Ivy League university.
Reading was a significant challenge for Karen during the early years of her education. Through perseverance, employing learning strategies, and having strong motivation to succeed, Karen went on to complete her MA as well as her doctorate coursework with an "A" average for both her EdD and Ph.D. Karen is currently finishing her Ph.D. thesis at the University of Toronto/Ontario Institute of Studies in Education in the field of higher education.
Karen wasn't diagnosed with a LD until her final year of high school due to the creativity and overcompensation which she employed in her work. In university, Karen learned how to focus on her learning strengths while working to improve selected skills. During Karen's undergraduate education she realized that she wanted to go into the field of higher education and help other students with learning disabilities. She realized that to do so, she would first need to make her own peace with identifying as a person with a learning disability. She believes that as a result of having a LD she has learned how to be more resourceful and think creatively, a proven useful asset in both her academic and professional work.
Karen's advice to individuals with a learning disability is to aim high and find role models for success. She believes that utilizing available resources and talking with others with a LD who have flourished can facilitate one's pathway to success. Most importantly, Karen believes that learning how to focus on the positives, even during challenging experiences and disappointing outcomes, is an invaluable tool to persevering and achieving your goals. To accomplish extraordinary achievements, she recommends celebrating even the small successes and remembering to never give up on your goals!