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Karen Hollebrands Named College of Education’s Associate Dean for Research and Innovation

Professor of Mathematics Education and Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Karen Hollebrands, Ph.D., will be the NC State College of Education’s associate dean for research and innovation, effective Oct. 1.

Hollebrands has served as the College of Education’s interim associate dean for research and innovation since July 15, 2020. 

“As interim associate dean, Karen Hollebrands has done an extraordinary job in ensuring we have sustained our growth in research and scholarship and in increasing collaboration and partnerships,” NC State College of Education Dean Mary Ann Danowitz said. “A meticulous researcher who has a passion for our land-grant mission and a deep knowledge of our college, Dr. Hollebrands will thrive in her role as associate dean and help our college expand its reach and impact through research and innovative solutions that transform the practice of teaching, learning and leading across the lifespan and across North Carolina and beyond.”

As associate dean for research and innovation, Hollebrands will oversee the College of Eduation’s research enterprise and portfolio. 

The college’s faculty and staff were awarded 73 new grants from external sources in the 2020-21 academic year, totaling $17,320,883. That number of grants awarded from external sources is the highest total ever awarded to the college in a single year since records have been kept. The college also reported $18 million in research expenditures in the 2020-21 fiscal year. Over the past five years, the college’s research expenditures have increased by 39%, the highest five-year increase across all colleges at NC State. 

In addition, based on the most recent data available, the college’s research expenditures were the highest among colleges of education in North Carolina, the 15th highest among public colleges of education in the nation, and the 22nd highest among all colleges of education in the nation. 

Currently, the college’s faculty and staff are engaged in 121 active research projects worth more than $85 million dollars.

“It has been an honor and pleasure to serve as the interim associate dean this past year. I look forward to continuing to support the research endeavors that our faculty and research associates are pursuing that impact and transform education in our state, nation, and across the globe,” Hollebrands said.

Hollebrands joined NC State in 2001 as an assistant professor of mathematics education and became a full professor in 2014. She was inducted into the Academy of Outstanding Teachers at NC State in 2009, and was named an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor in 2014 and a University Faculty Scholar in 2015. She has served in various leadership roles for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE), and the North America Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. 

Her research examines the mathematical understandings students and teachers develop when using technology, and she designs and studies the use of technology-based curricula to support teacher learning, which have been implemented nation-wide. Since 2001, she has been involved with several grant-funded research projects including Preparing to Teach Mathematics with Technology, MOOCs for Educators, Technology-Rich Units for Future Secondary Teachers, and the North Carolina High School Mathematics Master Teacher Fellows program.

Hollebrands earned her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education-Mathematics from the State University of New York at Oswego and Master of Education in Mathematics Education from our college. Before completing her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from The Pennsylvania State University, she taught high school mathematics in New York and North Carolina.