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.
Professional Highlights & Honors
WPI’s multi-faceted approach to preparing engineering students for the work force was featured in this article. “The multidisciplinary component is especially key, said Biology Professor Karen Kashmanian Oates. “None of these problems will be solved just by an engineer, so we are interested in combining the very best of engineering and the very best of liberal arts and sciences.”