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Get to Know: Karen Kleppe Graham


Karen Graham has been all across the country. She was drawn to Arkansas State by our size and focus, but Jonesboro helped close the deal. Let’s learn more about the new assistant professor of teacher education.

Karen Kleppe Graham

Karen Kleppe Graham

Place of birth:
Santa Monica, CA
Jim (husband), Taylor (daughter), Reese (son), Heidi (greyhound), Ross (greyhound)
Why did you choose A-State?
I wanted a position at a smaller university where teaching was the focus, the people were honest and kind, and the town supported the university
What makes a good professor?
Someone who is a teacher and a learner, and believes students can and will succeed as they work together to learn
My pro sports team is...
Dallas Cowboys.
My pet peeve is...
intentional bad grammar.
Who was your favorite teacher (and why)?
Dr. Kathleen deMarrais – she leads by example and always believes her students should pursue their research passions connected with their personal ones
What makes for a good student?
Someone who wants to learn, works hard, and is not afraid to help others learn
In college, I was known for...
being studious and working hard – also, my red hair.
What’s the value of a university education?
Of course, a university education can and most likely will yield great financial security. However, I believe the real value is intrinsic. Being at a university and reaching the success of graduation means a person has set a goal and attained it. This is nothing short of a miracle – sometimes.
Your philosophy on education in seven words:
(I can do it in 4) “We learn better together”
If you could teach another field, which one and why?
Psychology – because I’m interested how people learn (cognition) and what they think about their own ability to learn (meta-cognition).
My hobby is...
being with my family.
My passion is...
What is the one thing you wish you could teach everyone about your field?
Teaching is a passion and being in teacher education allows me to support future teachers, thereby influencing future generations
When I want to crush karaoke, my song is...
Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffet.
What are you working on right now?
A research study about how master reading teachers negotiate any tensions they may feel between district/state teaching demands and strategies vs. how they feel students best learn based on their own experiences
Before you retire I want to...
live at the beach.
What music is playing in your car?
Classic rock and contemporary pop
What is your favorite podcast?
The Black Tapes
My favorite motion picture is...
The Sound of Music.
The television series I must TiVo...
Grey’s Anatomy.
The last book I read for fun was...
The Hate U Give, by Angela Thomas.
My favorite trip was...
to Paris, France – my favorite city in Europe.
If I could travel anywhere it would be...
to Australia.
The best advice I ever received was...
on my wedding day, listen to each other.
What is the one thing I’ve learned I’d tell my college self...
work hard, but remember to have fun.
My favorite meal is...
anything Italian.
What I like about Jonesboro is...
the people I’ve met.
Cats or dogs?
E-book or hardback?
Beach or mountains?
Dinner or supper?
I wish I could...
My favorite saying is...
"But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."