Karen remembers wanting to be a prosecutor when she was just 7, but her mother, an admirer of Brutalist architecture, pointed out Karen’s spatial awareness and organization skills and suggested she should think about interior design instead. After that, Karen says, “I set up my entire life for that specific major.” A defining moment in high school reinforced her decision, when the Akron Children’s Hospital installed one of her watercolors in a young patient’s room. The patient contacted Karen, saying how much the colorful artwork brightened his days. “It’s pretty cool to know that something you’ve created is going to impact someone positively,” she says. “I feel that same impact walking through my spaces now.” After earning her degree in interior design, Karen started practicing in 2007 and joined Perkins Eastman in 2013. She spent several years working on Hospitality, Workplace, and Strategic Planning projects before specializing in K-12 Education, where she manages the design of high-performance school environments that inspire students and staff alike. She is currently working her way towards an architectural license.
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Karen teaches interior architecture at The George Washington University. She is passionate about mentorship both in the classroom and at work, where she enjoys teaching and training younger colleagues. She is a founding member of the DC studio’s Culture Club, serves on the DC HR Functional Team, and coordinates intra and interoffice staffing. She serves on the firmwide Project Management Committee and helps manage the Annual Excellence Program.