Karen Kettler, Ed.D.

Dean of the College of Sciences

West Liberty University

Dr. Karen Kettler has over 18 years of experience in higher education as a biology faculty member, Chair, and Dean of the College of Sciences at West Liberty University. Dr. Kettler enjoys working with faculty and staff in undergraduate Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Medical Laboratory Science, Speech Pathology and Audiology, Psychology, Biomedical Science, Organismal Biology, Ecology, Zoo Science, and Physical Science programs, and graduate programs in Physician Assistant Studies, Speech-Language Pathology, Dental Hygiene, Clinical Psychology, Biology, and Zoo Science and Applied Conservation. In addition, Dr. Kettler oversees three campus clinics in Behavioral Health, Speech and Hearing, and Dental Hygiene, as well as an on-campus living animal collection consisting of over 400 animals. She serves as the administrator of the Institutional Review Board and helps to administer the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.  Dr. Kettler strongly supports research efforts of faculty and students, serving as a Board Member of West Virginia-NASA and she is active on the steering committee of the WV-Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence. She feels strongly about supporting women and girls as they pursue interests in science-oriented fields, serving on the Board of EMPOWERS (Establishing a Mentoring Pipeline of Women Through Education and Research in STEM), evaluating research proposals and advocating for opportunities for underrepresented and underserved populations in West Virginia. Dr. Kettler was also a principal investigator on several grants within the last year, with awards of over $1.4 million, to expand healthcare-oriented programs, scholarships, innovative technology, and educational spaces for her institution.

Dr. Kettler has experience as a biological and educational researcher, so she appreciates the value of learning through doing. Before her work in higher education, Dr. Kettler engaged in cancer research, working on melanoma clinical trials, and she conducted field-oriented research in primate behavior and wetland ecology. Her science education research interests include inquiry and problem-based learning in higher education, and the development of science process skills in K-12 students.

Dr. Kettler holds a BS and MS in Biology and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, with a concentration in science education.