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Richard A. Henson School of Science & Technology
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Dr. Karen L. Olmstead, Dean

Dr. Karen L. Olmstead, Dean

Dr. Karen Olmstead serves as Dean of the Henson School of Science & Technology where she has administrative responsibility for science, health science, and technology programs.   Since she joined the Henson School of Science in 2008, enrollments, degree conferrals, and external funding have  dramatically grown with double-digit increases in all of these areas.  Previously, Olmstead held several leadership positions at The University of South Dakota (USD) including Associate VP for Academic Affairs & Graduate Dean, Director of University Honors & Undergraduate Academic Programs, Chair of Biology, and program director of an externally funded undergraduate research program.  

An ecologist by training, Olmstead has published 20 articles in refereed journals and given more than 50 conference and invited talks.  In her various leadership positions, Olmstead has won more than $3.5M in support of university programs, including $1.1M for undergraduate research and science outreach (HHMI), $1M for service learning integration into the undergraduate curriculum (Midwest Consortium for Service Learning in Higher Education), $450K in support of undergraduate education (Bush Foundation), and most recently, a $1M award to increase recruitment, retention, and graduation of STEM majors (NSF). Olmstead’s success as a faculty member and academic administrator has been recognized by several awards including USD's Professor of the Year and the University of Delaware’s Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement (alumni award). 

Olmstead received her Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Maryland and her B.S. and M.S. from the University of Delaware. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recent alumna of Leadership Maryland.  Dr. Olmstead serves on several boards including the Board of Directors of the Maryland Science Olympiad and has chaired the Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences' Committee on Comprehensive Institutions. Dr. Olmstead and her husband, Brian Busek, have two children.

Karen L. Olmstead, Ph. D.
Henson Science Hall Room 201 B

Dr. Olmstead's CV

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