Dr. Karen Madden has many years of experience in higher education and a long history of involvement in organizations devoted to supporting and advancing the interests of disadvantaged students.  Dr. Madden earned Bachelor’s degrees in both human services and history at Trinity College of Vermont, as well as Master’s degrees in administration from St. Michael’s College of Vermont and history from Michigan State University.  She earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in American History, specializing in women’s political history.

Dr. Madden has worked in higher education administration for more than 25 years, first at Trinity College and for the past 10 years as Director of Academic Support Services at Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont, where she administers the College’s TRiO grant to support disadvantaged students.  She also teaches history part-time at Johnson State College and the University of Vermont.

Dr. Madden has held a number of volunteer positions, including serving on the Chittenden County Court Diversion Board, Treasurer of the Trinity College Alumni Association, Secretary of the Brownell Library Foundation, and Vice President of United Professionals of Vermont.  Dr. Madden has long been involved in state, regional, and national organizations promoting the interests of disadvantaged students.   She has served as President of Vermont’s state-wide TRiO organization (VEOP) for two years, as well as its State Liaison, Director Liaison, and Political Advocacy Committee Chair.

On a regional level, she spent three years as President of New England’s TRiO organization (NEOA), as well as its Regional Conference Co-Chair, Strategic Planning Committee Chair, and member of its Policy Seminar.  Dr. Madden is also an important and respected member of the Council on Opportunity in Education (COE), TRiO’s national lobbying organization, serving on its Board as New England President for three years, Chair of its Strategic Planning Committee, member of the Government Relations Committee, and Professional Standards Committee Chair.  In addition to all this, she finds time to participate in local town meetings held by members of Vermont’s U.S. Congressional delegation, often advising them on education issues.  Dr. Madden’s passion for social justice is evident in the time she commits to these organizations and the tenacity with which she pursues their goals.