Karen Edwards grew up in LeMars, Iowa, which is in the northwest corner of the state. Karen’s undergraduate degree is from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she majored in Health and Physical Education and studied abroad through the Danish International Studies (DIS) program in Copenhagen. Karen then earned her Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration, with a concentration in International Education, from the University of Iowa. Karen adds that her “interest in International Education was ignited through study abroad in Denmark, an internship with the Fulbright Center in Malaysia, and a graduate assistantship with the International Center at UI.” In her free time, Karen is busy with her 2 boys and her husband Jon, who also works at Grinnell College. She also enjoys travelling, running, and taking on unique or unusual art projects.
Karen has dedicated her career to the small, residential, undergraduate, liberal arts experience and appreciates Grinnell’s emphasis on teaching and learning, both in and out of the classroom. She feels that “Grinnell’s commitment to international education, in the broadest sense, is palpable throughout the curriculum and in the co-curriculum.
Karen works with the Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) team, as well as campus and community partners, to help provide a positive educational experience for international Grinnellians. Karen’s work includes regulatory compliance, teaching and advising, support for cultural transitions, and programming and community outreach. OISA’s goal is to help Grinnell be an international-student-friendly institution. Karen also serves on the leadership team for the Division of Student Affairs and is a Dean-on-call.
The Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) is located on the third floor of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, in the Student Affairs suite. For more information, stop in the office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call 641-269-3700.