Karen Karp has dedicated her life to not only mathematics but also the intersection of mathematics education and special education. One of her colleagues said, “At her core, Dr. Karp is a teacher's teacher.” Another said, “Dr. Karen Karp has the unique gift and ability to profoundly impact teachers by opening their eyes to see their students' mathematical capabilities and helping teachers to gain the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to support each and every learner.”
Karen Karp served as president of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE), held numerous positions with the Greater Louisville Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Nassau County (New York) Mathematics Teachers Association, and served on the Board of Directors as well as on more than 40 committees for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). While on the Board she wrote an NSF Conference grant that brought together mathematics educators and special educators to collaborate on ways to support students with special needs. It has been Karen Karp's leadership at critical times and on influential committees and task forces that truly distinguishes her NCTM service. Her commitment to NCTM is unparalleled and well-documented through her service to the organization over 31 years. A constant and foundational component of Karen's professional identity is her unwavering loyalty to, dedicated support of, and advocacy for NCTM.
Karen Karp graduated with a degree in elementary education with a concentration in mathematics and science from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, and rose to the position of Professor Emeritus at the University of Louisville. Now a Professor at Johns Hopkins University, she serves as the Advisement Coordinator of the EdD program, mentoring not only EdD students but also the faculty advisers who oversee doctoral students through their dissertations. During her decades of service to the field of mathematics education, Karen chaired or served as a committee member on more than 80 dissertations.
Karen has received 16 awards related to teaching, advising, and mentoring during her career, including the Johns Hopkins University School of Education Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, and at the University of Louisville the Outstanding Doctoral Mentor Award, the President's Distinguished Teaching Award, and the President's Distinguished Service Award for a Career of Service.
Her leadership and service to mathematics education extend beyond NCTM. Karen was a team member for the International Congress on Mathematics Education's study group on students with special needs. She also has facilitated countless workshops and professional development sessions throughout the state of Kentucky as well as nationally during the past 25 years. She is a generator of ideas.
As the lead or co-author of more than 30 books and more than 80 articles and book chapters, Karen has been a prolific scholar. Many of her publications have appeared in NCTM journals or books, but what makes much of Karen's scholarship unique is the direct and highly visible impact her scholarship has on practicing teachers of mathematics through implementation in classrooms.