Staff Highlight: Karol Dean - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Staff Highlight: Karol Dean

July 5, 2022

Karol joined Health & Medicine as Director of the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program in June 2022, driven by a passion to nurture a community service orientation among evolving health and human service professionals. 

“The Schweitzer Fellowship draws graduate student activists into the ongoing struggle for public health equity, Karol says. “The innovation, adaptability, and commitment the Fellows demonstrate in their critical service learning projects inspire me, and I can’t wait to learn and grow with them.”

Thus far, Karol’s career journey has been focused in higher education as an educator and academic administrator at mission-centered liberal arts institutions focused on preparing non-traditional students for their lives and careers. In these positions, she has focused on ensuring the quality of teaching and learning for students and for faculty, while contributing to organizational change and resiliency. “I am excited by the chance to guide professional development, facilitate meaningful connections with the community, and continue to build hope for the future of the Chicago region,” she shares of her role at Health & Medicine. “I am eager to join my Health & Medicine colleagues in contributing to the vital programs and policies that are improving Illinois.”

Karol’s scholarly and professional focus is on reducing violence, supporting women, and building leadership. She is committed to the expansion of equity, inclusion, and social justice. She earned her Ph.D. and master’s degrees in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her bachelor’s degree from Boston University. As she gets to know Chicago, Karol is learning about philanthropy as a member of the West Suburban Giving Circle of the Chicago Foundation for Women, while she dreams of traveling, reads, and enjoys great meals with family and friends.