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Karen Terrell Jackson ‘14PHD

Karen Terrell JacksonEducational Research and Policy Analysis
Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies and Adult Education
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Karen Terrell Jackson ‘14PHD has been on the faculty at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University since 2015. In 2018, she became an assistant professor of leadership studies and adult education (LSAD). In her role, Jackson leads sponsored research that focuses on broadening participation in STEM, institutional transformation and community engagement. She also teaches research design, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and ethics and policy courses. Jackson also serves as chair of the LSAD curriculum committee, co-chair of the LSAD assessment committee and is a member of the faculty council.

She was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the American Evaluation Association (AEA), where she has been a member since 2013. Before joining the board, Jackson was a topical interest group leader and served on task forces and work groups, where she mentored other evaluators in the Graduate Education Diversity Internship program.

Her Story

“Prior to entering the educational research and policy analysis program, I had earned a B.S. in chemistry and a M.Ed. in mathematics education. I like to say I’m a physical scientist that converted to social science. I knew I needed to be in a place that supports the thinking of someone with a physical science background and NC State as a university was attractive because of its STEM focus and encouragement of innovative and creative thinking. Before entering the Ph.D. program, I taught mathematics at the middle school, high school and community college levels and I kept seeing students struggle and educators try program after program that did not meet the needs of the struggling students. I knew there was something wrong but I didn’t feel that I had the tools to scientifically examine the programs to determine what changes needed to be made. The courses in this program gave me the tools I needed.

I was able to develop a strong network within my program. This experience gave me opportunities to present at conferences and publish research with faculty in the department. This prepared me to meet the expectations for research in a tenure-track faculty position. Faculty in the program encouraged me to take methods courses in addition to the ones required for my degree. I followed their recommendations and I believe this helped me to be more prepared to design and implement studies, as well as teach methods courses.”