Ms. Riley has worked in equal opportunity programs for nearly 20 years. For the past 14 years, she has worked at Wilkes University in the Act 101 Program as the Assistant Director and Counselor. She has also served as an Undeclared Major’s Advisor and teaches a career planning course. In 2011, Karen had the honor of being presented the Academic Support Award from The Teacher Recognition and Effectiveness Committee (TREC) at Wilkes University. While continuing to currently serve Wilkes University students as the Assistant Director and Program Counselor for the Act 101 Program, she has the opportunity to work with many first-generation college students from low-income families who face financial, social, and academic barriers to a college education. A first generation college student herself, who depended on financial aid and a part-time job, she has the privilege to be in this advisor/counselor role that allows her to get to know the students, their fears about college as well as their talents and strengths. For the past two years, she has also had the opportunity to support students by serving as Secretary of the Act 101 Pennsylvania Association for Educational Opportunity. She took on this additional commitment because the state was significantly decreasing funding for Pennsylvania student support programs. In this position, she could be part of a collective voice and work with the Executive Committee to advocate retaining state funding for the support services these students need to achieve their college degrees. Traveling to Harrisburg and throughout the state to be a strong advocate for the Act 101 Programs and student financial aid has added yet another dimension to the work Karen does to support students.
Areas of Expertise: Academic Advising, Career Counseling, Student Counseling, Student Financial Aid, Student Development