Karen Curls, PhD

Karen Curls, PhD

Division Chair – Social Science Division


Dr. Curls presently holds the position of Social Science Division Chair for Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley Campus. She has held the Division Chair position for 11 years. The Social Science Division that she oversees holds the majority of the general education classes and is the division where most of the transfer credits are derived. She is fondly known across the Social Science Division and the entire organization for her superb leadership. Her commitment to higher education is evidenced by her participation in the Oxford Roundtable, Oxford, England and her receipt of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Curls epitomizes the mission of Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley, “Preparing Students, Serving Communities, Creating Opportunities”.

Dr. Curl’s value of education is demonstrated by her exceptional academic accomplishments. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Education Specialist Degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Master of Arts Degree from the University of Central Missouri and her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Park University.

Devoted to bettering the Kansas City community and advocating for improvements in the urban core, Dr. Curls is a member of Freedom Inc. (Membership Committee), Jackson County Jail Task Force (9/2015) and the Urban Summit. She serves as a consult to community and economic development organizations for the stabilization and redevelopment of urban communities. Dr. Curls is also known for creating the Civil Rights Pilgrimage that engages students and the broader community in the legal and historic study of the southern civil rights movement.