Karen Gross Society Guru

Karen is #4 LinkedIn Global Top Voice 2017 - Education.  She was also an Education Top Voice in 2015 and 2016.  She is an educator and an author. Prior to becoming a college president, she was a tenured law professor for two plus decades. Her academic areas of expertise include trauma, toxic stress, consumer finance, overindebtedness and asset building in low income communities. She currently serves as Senior Counsel at Finn Partners Company. From 2011 to 2013, She served (part and full time) as Senior Policy Advisor to the US Department of Education in Washington, DC. She was the Department's representative on the interagency task force charged with redesigning the transition assistance program for returning service members and their families. From 2006 to 2014, she was President of Southern Vermont College, a small, private, affordable, four-year college located in Bennington, VT. In Spring 2016, she was a visiting faculty member at Bennington College in VT. She also teaches part-time st Molly Stark Elementary School, also in Vt.  She is also an Affiliate of the Penn Center for MSIs. She is the author of adult and children’s books, the most recent of which are titled Breakaway Learners (adult) and  Lucy’s Dragon Quest. Karen holds a bachelor degree in English and Spanish from Smith College and Juris Doctor degree (JD) in Law from Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law.

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Anonymity or Disclosure: A Question for Those Harassed

It is an immensely difficult issue: if one is harassed, should one disclose one's name? Many people think that remaining anonymous is a cop-out (odd phrase, right) but if one has been harassed, one would realize how hard it is to disclose one's identity.

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Shock: I Will Miss the Protesters

I have had protesters outside my apartment in Washington DC since I returned from British Columbia 10 days ago. They are objecting to the use of aversives and GED at The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, MA. At the start of the protest, I had never heard the term “aversives.” And despite being an educator, I had no knowledge of The Judge Rotenberg Education Center. I had assumed that we had long ago abandoned torture as a form of getting student compliance. 

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My Plea as an Educator: Please Listen to Student Survivor Voices

This truth can’t be denied: some of the most significant changes in American society and culture have come from protests. And, looking back on recent history without the taint of politics, the most powerful of these changes have been driven by young people.

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Reflecting on the Role of Teachers and Professors in 2040

Start with this realization: future students will not be clones of their educators nor similar to many students today.' Our world is changing. Surely we can all agree, even with the growth of artificial intelligence, that we cannot do away with all teachers and professors in the coming decades! The better inquiry is to ask what roles these individuals can and will play within the educational system of the future. The reason? If we fail to prepare our teachers and professors well, they will not succeed in providing optimal education to our students and their families.

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Forced Self-Reflection: Consider These Questions

I was recently asked by Denis Zekic  (founder of CeeDoo) to answer a set of written questions which he would then review for content and length. Thereafter, I would answer (edited as needed) the same questions orally on my cellphone using the video function; then those answers would be edited down and posted on LinkedIn. His idea was to showcase or share the voices of Top Voices on LinkedIn.

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How Co-Presidents Could Improve Leadership In Higher Education

There is no question about it: being a college or university president is hard. And, it is getting harder. These deepening challenges mean the time has come to re-think how we view this critical role in educating the next generation. I believe we need to consider the deployment of a different leadership paradigm for some institutions moving forward: co-presidencies.

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Reflecting on 2018: It's A Different Kind of Year For Us All

I have been reflecting on what to write as we enter 2018. The end of one year and the start of another is a common time for reflection. But something is different this go-around. I don't feel celebratory.

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas for Scientists

I have been reading with some care a series of articles in Vanity Fair (no, it is not a fashion magazine) by Michael Lewis on the horrors of what is occurring within various Departments of US government. Long long story short: talent is walking out the door and contractors are walking in the door; we are losing knowledge and wisdom as experienced workers exit. We are both downsizing and downgrading our form of government.

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We Need “Lasticity-Trained” Educators on Disaster Teams: An Idea as We Enter 2018

I can picture readers looking at this headline and pondering why we need to complicate disaster relief by adding educators to the team of necessary workers. Education seems like a secondary level of need, way behind water and power and disease control and food supplies. And, then readers may wince perhaps over the word “lasticity,” wondering what it means. The word could sound oddly familiar but no definition comes to mind. And finally, there is the word “trained,” and many question how valuable professional development actually is and whether it is worth the proverbial candle. And, don’t we have better things to worry about as we enter a New Year.

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Moving Counter-Clockwise: Lessons from Hurricanes, Floods and Earthquakes

The plethora of natural disasters raises all sorts of complicated but expected issues – from discussions of the legitimacy of global warming to the adequacy (or lack thereof) of on the ground relief efforts.

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