VIUCEDD Welcomes New Associate Director

October 2, 2015

In May 2015, Dr. Karen Harris Brown joined the VIUCEDD staff as Associate Director for research, evaluation, and grant development. While she is the newest member of the VIUCEDD team, Dr. Brown is no stranger to the Virgin Islands. She is a native Virgin Islander who recently returned home after 29 years of living on the U.S. mainland. When the opportunity arose, Dr. Brown jumped at the chance of returning to the place that was instrumental in shaping her into who she is today. She is a proud Chicken Hawk (C.A.H.S. class of 1986) and former member of the Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra. She is a first generation college student who participated in the University Bound program (formerly Upward Bound) at the University of the Virgin Islands (formerly College of the Virgin Islands). She is grateful for these experiences and what others did to sow into her life. Now, it is her goal to "pay it forward" by positively impacting the lives of all she comes in contact with. She hopes to accomplish this through her work at VIUCEDD.

Prior to her new role with VIUCEDD, Dr. Brown served as a tenured Associate Professor of Speech-Language Pathology and Program Director for a nationally accredited university program. Under her leadership, the program received an eight-year accreditation status. Dr. Brown is experienced in program development at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. She has taught classes at all three levels as well. Additionally, Dr. Brown has provided trainings and technical assistance to teachers, related services personnel, school-based administrators, nursing staff, and allied health professionals. Her publications and research agenda are centered on issues related to self-efficacy, cultural perceptions of disability and their impact on intervention, healthcare disparities, and issues related to social justice.

Dr. Brown holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Speech Communication, Master of Science degree in speech-language pathology, and Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in special education: curriculum and instruction. She has 23 years of experience working with people with disabilities and special healthcare needs across the lifespan and in a variety of settings (preschool, K-12, hospital, outpatient clinic, early intervention center, skilled nursing facilities, and home health). In this capacity she has collaborated with various medical and educational personnel including otolaryngologists, radiologists, gastroenterologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, other allied health professionals, teachers, school psychologists, and parents/guardians. She maintains K-12 certification, a license to practice as a speech-language pathologist and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Dr. Brown is a 2014-2015 Georgia Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (GaLEND) fellow. She has served as founding board member of Tapestry Public Charter School, designed for students on the autism spectrum alongside their neurotypically-developing peers, and Atlanta Child Therapy, for students with special needs. At the national level, Dr. Brown has served as a steering committee member for Special Interest Group 14, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and grant proposal reviewer for the Race-to-the-Top District grant competition of the U.S. Department of Education. Currently, she is Publications Chair for the Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners (DDEL), a special interest group of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Dr. Brown is a recent graduate of the National Leadership Institute on Developmental Disabilities.