Associate Dean and Director of International Student Affairs
Karen is Grinnell’s Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) and Responsible Officer (RO). Her office is responsible for institutional compliance with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), and for teaching F-1 students and J Exchange Visitors about their rights and responsibilities. In addition to regulatory work, the OISA helps students from around the world navigate and find community in a new country and culture — through advising, programming, collaboration, and outreach. Karen is dedicated to creating an international-student-friendly campus. She serves on the leadership team for the Division of Student Affairs; serves as a Dean-on-call; and sits on the Council for Diversity and Inclusion and the Institute for Global Engagement Advisory Board.
Karen Klopp Edwards holds a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Iowa; interned with the Malaysian American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she participated in the Danish International Studies (DIS) program in Copenhagen. She has traveled in 30+ countries across 5 continents. She is active in NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and co-founder of the ACM/GLCA International Student Advisors Roundtable.;
She has worked at Grinnell College since 2007, following a decade at The College of Wooster in Ohio. Karen and her husband Jon, who serves as Associate Dean of Admission and Coordinator of International Student Recruitment, live in Grinnell and have two children, Dane and Barrett. She also enjoys travelling, biking, beginner accordion, and unique art projects.
The Office of International Student Affairs sits within the Division of Student Affairs, and is co-located with the Institute for Global Engagement on the first floor of the Humanities and Social Sciences Center. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also arrange a webex appointment or call 641-269-3705.
Education and Degrees
B.A., Luther College
M.A., University of Iowa