Karen DePauw

Karen DePauw Photo

Karen P. DePauw is Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education and tenured Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Human Nutrition, Foods & Exercise at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Prior to employment at VT, she served 22 years on the faculty and as an administrator at Washington State University.  Since her arrival at Virginia Tech, her major accomplishments include success in building a strong diverse graduate community, the establishment of the national awarding winning innovative Graduate Life Center (GLC), the signature academic initiative known as Transformative Graduate Education (TGE) including the global perspectives program and has been recognized nationally as a leader in innovative use of technology in graduate education.

As an academic administrator, she has been a strong advocate for diversity and equity in higher education and has spoken at national conferences on changing roles and responsibilities of faculty, preparing the future professoriate and change facing the 21st century university.  Dr. DePauw has held several leadership roles in graduate education.  She was a founding member and Facilitator/Chair for the Virginia Council of Graduate School (VCGS), served as President of the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) 2007-2008 and serves as a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS).  She has been a panelist, speaker and presenter at regional affiliates (CSGS, WAGS), national meetings and workshops (CGS, NSF IGERT, Advance/NSF), and international conferences (European University Association, Council of Doctoral Education). She is currently is serving a 3-year term on the national GRE Board and as the Principal Investigator for a planning grant from NSF/AGEP to develop a model for the Virginia Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (VAGEP).

Dr. DePauw is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of adapted physical activity, disability sport and disability studies.  She has published extensively, presented keynote and scholar lectures (more than 150) around the world.  Her scholarship has focused on inclusion, equity issues, social construction of disability, and sociology of the body.  In recognition of her scholarly contributions, she was elected as a member of the American Academy for Kinesiology in 1997.  Throughout her academic career, she has served in leadership positions for national and international associations, received numerous honors and awards and has worked extensively with the United States Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the Olympic & Paralympic Congresses since 1984.

Dr. DePauw earned the A.B. in Sociology from Whittier College, M.S. in Special Education from California State University, Long Beach, and a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Texas Woman’s University.  In the 1970s, she taught with the Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County Schools and California State University – Los Angeles before moving to Washington State University.