Faculty Directory

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Salisbury Laboratories, 121
Phone: +1-508-831-4677
Fax: +1-508-831-6748

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Karen Kashmanian Oates

Before joining WPI as the Peterson Family Dean of Arts and Sciences, I was the deputy director for undergraduate education at the National Science Foundation. I was also the founding provost at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, associate dean and director at George Mason University, and the co-P.I. on a large, national dissemination grant entitled Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER). I received my BS in biology from Rochester Institute of Technology and my PhD in biochemistry from George Washington University.

Nationally, I conduct faculty development workshops on a variety of topics, including progressive pedagogical approaches to support learning, assessment strategies, and discovery-based undergraduate research, as well as using research on how people learn to inform curricular design. I have served as a Eurasia Specialist with USAID/HED (Higher Education for Development) and participated routinely in global research and education initiatives. I am the recipient of the 2008 Bruce Albert Award for excellence in science education.


  • BS Biology – RIT
  • MS, Ph.D. Biochemistry 1985 George Washington University

Professional Highlights

  • Federal Executive Institute: Leadership for a Democratic Society- A one month residential experience FEI-338 2008
  • Senior Management Seminar – American Council for Education, 2002
  • Higher Education Resource Management Institute- Wellesley College, 2000
  • National Leadership Development Institute - Phoenix, Arizona, 1998
  • Bruce Albert’s Award: Presented by American Society for Cell Biology for Excellence in Science Education Reform- 2008
  • Distinguished Public Service Award (Highest Civilian Honor): City Of Harrisburg-Office of the Mayor, Pennsylvania 2007
  • Faculty Member of the Year: George Mason University Alumni Association 2005
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