Faculty Profile: Dr. Karen Jones

Name: Karen D. Jones, PhD

Title: Associate Professor

Department: Education Leadership (LEED)

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Colleges attended and degrees: B.S. in Communication Studies from University of Texas at Austin; MEd in Curriculum & Instruction from Texas State University; PhD in School Improvement from Texas State University

Years working at ECU: 6 years; started in fall 2015

What are your research interests?

I want to prepare school leaders for success in diverse school communities.

What is your favorite course that you have taught or currently teach?

There are many courses I enjoy. One that stands out is LEED 6903, Micro-Political Leadership and Decision-Making within a Legal Context. We discuss relevant federal, state, and local laws and policies that affect schools and districts. It helps students see the “why” behind many things that happen in their schools and districts. We not only discuss the laws and policies, but students examine their own implicit biases that may affect how they enforce some of these policies. Data shows that policies in areas such as discipline are not always applied equitably. Future school leaders need to understand this, review their own school data, and reflect on their beliefs in order for real change to happen.

What drew you to LEED and, in particular, K-12 administration?

One thing that drew me to the Ed Leadership department at ECU is the commitment to service. Through the Service Leadership Projects in the MSA, students collaborate with multiple stakeholders in their schools and districts to enact change to benefit students, families and teachers. Our students do not just talk about the theories of what leaders do to change schools, our students actually put change into action.

Outside of work, what are your favorite hobbies or interests?

Reading for fun — usually nonfiction social sciences or history; walking/hiking