Gaines resizeNORTHFIELD, Vt. — Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) is honored to announce that Norwich University Provost and Dean of the Faculty Dr. Karen Gaines will deliver the 2022 CGCS commencement address to approximately 360 students at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 24 in Shapiro Field House.

Gaines has served as Norwich University’s provost and faculty dean since 2022, overseeing academic affairs and its internal operations. 

Before her appointment, she served for six years as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (COAS) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Daytona Beach (Florida) campus, where she oversaw 65% of the core campus courses and the college’s Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and doctoral programs.

She also was in charge of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Army ROTC units. 

Before joining ERAU, Gaines worked for the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (USDOE) Savannah River Site, served as department chair of biological sciences and as founding director of the Geographic Information Science Center at Eastern Illinois University.

Gaines’ doctorate is in environmental toxicology from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health, where she worked with the Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP) to quantify exposure pathways and develop spatially explicit risk models for vulnerable populations living near nuclear waste sites using multiple endpoints. 

Gaines earned the doctoral achievement award for her work in radiation epidemiology, exposure, risk assessment and radionuclide fate and transport. She is internationally recognized for her expertise on the fate and transport of toxicants in extreme environments for both environmental and human risk assessment, specifically pertaining to health physics, radiobiology, radiochemistry, metals and organics.

Gaines is a certified wildlife biologist and has served in several Wildlife Society working groups. She has consulted for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Agriculture Department, NASA, and the U.S. Defense Department and continues to serve these agencies as a risk assessor and spatial data analytics expert.

Gaines has also partnered with NASA and the Defense Department on research focusing on human performance and  physiological endpoints at the cellular level. 

Gaines has received Energy Department funding throughout her career to monitor nuclear waste sites remotely and in situ. She works closely with the Aerospace Medical Society, American Public Health Association and the Navy Department in various capacities and is an appointed member of the Health Physics Society and the International Union of Radioecology.

She collaborates and holds an adjunct clinical assistant professorship in the Florida State University’s College of Medicine. 

“I’m privileged to deliver the upcoming 2022 commencement address for Norwich’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies as the university’s newly appointed provost,” Gaines said. “Our online degree and continuing education programs prepare motivated students for leadership roles in today’s most critical fields. I respect the resiliency required for these students to persist in the face of the difficult challenges they have faced during the pandemic. Students who can complete a graduate degree while working and raising a family have my utmost respect and I look forward to honoring them during this momentous occasion.”

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About Norwich University
Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by U.S. Army  Capt. Alden Partridge and is the United States’ oldest private military college. Norwich is one of our nation's six Senior Military Colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

About the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies:
Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) builds upon the institution’s 202-year academic heritage with innovative online programs. CGCS offers master’s degrees in a variety of areas; bachelor’s degree completion programs; graduate certificates; and continuing education opportunities. The programs are recognized throughout the industry for their rigor, small class size, high student satisfaction and retention.  

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Daphne Larkin M’17
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