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August 18, 2014 — Longtime faculty member and administrator Karen Williams will serve as the University of Wyoming interim university assessment specialist until June 30, 2015.
A professor of human development and family sciences and former head of the UW Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Williams will work with the Assessment Coordinators Committee to develop and maintain several projects, including designing an assessment plan for USP (University Studies Program) 2015. That plan will be central to UW’s accreditation and the improvement of teaching and learning at the university.
“We are very fortunate that someone of Karen Williams' stature and experience is willing to step in and support a range of important initiatives in the wake of Dr. Erika Prager’s departure,” says Alyson Hagy, associate vice president for academic affairs. “While Dr. Prager will still be involved in UW’s assessment efforts, Dr. Williams will be the campus contact for deans, department heads and faculty members who seek support for their critical assessment efforts.”
“I look forward to working with everyone on assessment. It gives me the opportunity to work with great folks across campus, and to really link my passion for teaching and learning to assessment, really why assessment matters,” Williams says.
Williams earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Illinois; a bachelor of science from UW in home economics in family and community education services; a master’s from Pacific Oaks College in human development and developmental education; and a Ph.D. from UW in curriculum and instruction.
She directs the online Bachelor of Applied Science program in Organizational Leadership. She has taught infants and toddlers, preschoolers, junior high and high school students, as well as college students and other adult learners. She has 40 years of teaching experience, 17 in distance education.
Her research centers on distance education pedagogy, diversity, assessment and pre-service teacher preparation. Williams was the 2011 TIE (Technology in Education) faculty fellow for the UW Outreach School, and has received the Outstanding Educator Award from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the 2012 Western Regional Teaching Award from the USDA.