Carpenter serves the students of CHES as an advisor, but she also works closely with the faculty and their academic departments. As Coordinator of Bama Bound Orientation, she does an outstanding job of collaborating with academic departments to ensure that prospective students are receiving accurate information and personal attention. She also provides training and important information to Avanti students, faculty, and advisors in preparation for the very busy orientation season.
Carpenter voluntarily assumed responsibility to serve at-risk populations of newly admitted students to ensure that they received specialized advising and resources throughout their college career. Although CHES no longer oversees this group, she continues to assist these students in whatever way possible.
Her knowledge and experience regarding registration issues, degree requirements, course offerings, and the graduation process are vital to the College’s success. She has developed a keen understanding of the importance of various policies and procedures. Carpenter also serves as an active member of UA-AAA, an organization that strives to enhance communication to properly support the academic advising community within our University.
For these reasons and many more, The University of Alabama singled out Karen Carpenter for her exemplary service. Those who nominated her for the 2020 Minnie Miles Award said it best.
“Karen works diligently to ensure that students are meeting all program requirements to graduate with their desired major in a timely manner. Most of all, Karen displays a stellar example of what it means to fulfill the CHES mission and ‘empower individuals with knowledge and skills to bring about positive change in our world.’ She continuously strives to improve the lives of others through acts of kindness and practicing a keen work ethic,” said Dr. Jennifer Humber, Director of CHES Student Services.
“Karen is a colleague that is always willing to help out. She goes above and beyond to help her college, other staff members, students, or faculty. As a faculty member, I cannot tell you how many times I have called Karen with a simple question. I can guarantee that at the moment of that call she is swamped. However, Karen is always willing to stop what she is doing and answer my question. She does it because she is a kind person but mostly because she is a staff member who embodies a desire to serve her university and its students,” said Dr. Sherwood Burns-Nader, HDFS faculty.
“She has been a great asset to the University for many years now and continues to exceed expectations on a daily basis. Because of her dedicated work ethic and thoughtful personality, Karen deserves recognition of our sincere appreciation for her continued service to our students, faculty, and staff,” continued Humber.
The award is named for the late Dr. Minnie C. Miles, a long-time professor in the College of Business who served The University of Alabama from 1942 until her retirement in 1978. Miles left a legacy of leadership, civil service, and activism that lives on at the University and beyond.
In 1962, she traveled to Los Angeles where she became president of the Federation of Business and Professional Women, and when President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, Miles stood at his left shoulder. That same year U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara appointed her to the Defense Committee on Women in the Services, and during her tenure on the committee, a bill removing restrictions on promoting women in the military was approved by Congress.
In 2000, The University of Alabama's Board of Trustees issued a resolution on the occasion of Miles’ 90th birthday stating, “. . .this soft-spoken, determined, influential leader, humanitarian, and teacher has affected the lives of decades of students, citizens, and women nationally and internationally. . ."
Like Miles, Karen Carpenter has influenced the lives of students and colleagues in positive ways and she has done so for more than 15 years. CHES is proud to have her on our team, we appreciate her exemplary service and look forward her continuing and dedicated service to the College and its students.