Karen Hardin, Ed.D. received Faculty Emeritus distinction from the Maricopa Community Colleges to honor her 31-year career fostering student success at Mesa Community College. Passionate about recruiting and retaining underserved students, as a faculty member and chair of the MCC Counseling Department, Dr. Karen Hardin mentored students individually and through large-scale programs.
Students Striving Toward Excellent Performance, known as STEP, helped hundreds of students achieve academic and personal success, and gained acclaim through conference presentations as far away as Paris. Also, Karen created the Student’s Opportunity for Success program, which equips students with skills and techniques to achieve classroom success. Through projects such as the Non-Traditional Institute for Girls, Karen introduced young girls to careers not traditionally held by women. She is one of the first faculty members to teach service-learning classes at MCC, a program that is now offered in all disciplines.
Karen served as the faculty advisor for MCC’s NAACP club for 28 years and was the co-founding adviser for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at MCC. She has served in leadership roles for the MCC Faculty Senate and Maricopa Council on Black American Affairs. Her community service includes the NAACP Maricopa County chapter where she is the First Vice President and Arizona College Chapters Coordinator. In addition to several service awards, she is a YWCA Tribute to Women Honoree and received the Dr. Martin Luther King Achievement Award in 2010.
Karen is a licensed professional counselor and holds a doctorate in educational leadership and counseling.