Coordinator of Learning Skills and International Student Programs

Marist College



Growing up in a bilingual home where both English and German were spoken was a major influence on Karen and led to a career committed to teaching English to those who speak other languages. Karen earned her degree from Mercy in English and Speech Pathology in 1974, and went on to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching at Rice University in Houston, Texas, in teaching English and German. She has taught English as a second language at Rice University, the University of Houston, Dutchess Community College, and at Mercy College-Dobbs Ferry “I love teaching as much as I did on the very first day, and I learn as much (if not more) from my students as they do from me. The only way to world peace is through understanding, and I am privileged to be able to facilitate the process in a small way.”


As Coordinator of Learning Skills and International Student Programs in the Academic Learn ing Center at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, Karen coordinates all programs for international students, including orientation, counseling, academic program planning and implementation, as well as classroom teaching and curriculum development. Globalizing the curriculum at Marist College is a current priority and Karen expresses her gratitude to Eileen McMahon, her freshman English professor, and Joel Feimer, her mentor and friend, for intro ducing her as an undergraduate to the literature of the entire world. “I have been working with students from all over the world for the past 25 years and am constantly amazed at how often I draw from the international reading list to which I was exposed as an undergradu ate. It has helped me to relate to my students in some very profound ways. The readings were fascinating when I was seventeen, and they have been helpful to me ever since. I am grateful to Eileen and Joel for giving me the world.”


Long active in volunteer work, she has been involved in leadership in the Boy Scouts of America for eight years. Sue is also involved in numerous environmental groups, and is past president of the Holy Trinity Home School Association. Committed to the American Cancer Society, she has provided leadership for successful fund raising events. She is also a regular volunteer counselor with Reach to Recovery, a breast cancer survivors' support group.