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Dr. Karen L. Pennington was appointed Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life in 1998. She came to Montclair State University from the State University of New York at Geneseo, where she served in the same role. She has held various positions in student affairs at six institutions in four states, including Director of College Activities, Director of Residence Life, Associate Dean and Dean of Students and Vice President. Dr. Pennington received a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of Scranton, a M.Ed. in education counseling from Gannon University, and a Ph.D. in educational administration from the State University of New York at Albany.
Dr. Pennington has served as a member of the Board of Directors of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and as Chair of the Board from 2003-2004. She has served as a member of and on the Board of Directors of the NASPA Foundation, a member of the Review Group of the National Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Other Drug and Violence Prevention (a U.S. Department of Education appointment), Chair of the NASPA Stevens Institute for Senior Effectiveness and as a member of the Advisory Board for Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill, PA; Board of Directors of the American Conference on Diversity and the Board of Trustees of the University of Scranton, Scranton, PA. Current appointments include the roster of Fulbright Visiting Specialists Program, Coordinator of the NASPA International Exchange Program, member of the Clery Center for Campus Safety Advisory Board and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Higher Education Law and Policy Center of Stetson University College of Law.