Karen Gross Society Guru

Karen is #6 LinkedIn Global Top Voice 2018 - Education. She was also an Education Top Voice in 2015, 2016 and 2017. 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.


Why Not Right Size Colleges? Businesses Do It All the Time

There have been recent articles about the merger (some say closure) of Marlboro College in VT with Emerson College in Boston. Basically, Marlboro is giving its campus and endowment to Emerson in return for faculty preservation (Marlboro faculty who want to move to teach at Emerson) and a center with its name at Emerson. Many folks in VT are upset and see this as the “end” of Marlboro; they are not wrong in many senses. They have been reflecting on and suggesting other approaches.


The Edgar Baby Dragon Craze: Why It’s a Good Thing

England has always had a connection to dragons; it goes back centuries. This year, the John Lewis advert related to the holidays features an endearing young, green dragon named Edgar; he’s captured the hearts of many. The store has even created a stuffed version of Edgar that seems sold-out online.


Am I Next? School Shootings Create Generation of Traumatized College Students

In a matter of seconds, a student at a high school in Santa Clarita, California, injured and killed a handful of his fellow students and then shot himself. He died shortly thereafter. We read about such incidents and lament their happening. We see television footage and peruse articles and social media postings. We mourn for the students injured and killed and worry about their families and friends.


Cutting Mental Health Service on Campuses

A recent article in Inside Higher Education addressed this reality: the largest community college in the Pennsylvania State system is cutting mental health services. In this particular community college on a go forward basis, these services are being handled by the community to which students are directed (how they are directed remains a mystery to me). And, when you look at the reasons: budget, budget, budget. I’d add lack of utilization and lack of an outcry. And, a lack of understanding of who are students are and our responsibility to them.


How Many Senses Do We Have?

I know we all focus on the usual five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. I spend lots of my time in environments where trauma has occurred or is present: the location of shootings, natural disaster sites, immigrant support centers, an Indian Reservation, inner cities, military bases and military schools, organizations serving troubled youth, and educational institutions.