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I am originally from the San Diego area, but my family moved around a lot, so I have lived in Florida, Idaho, California, Georgia, and England as I was growing up. Living in all of these places, I developed a passion for history. I went to Brandeis University, just outside of Boston, for my BA. When I first got to Brandeis, I wanted to study European history. After I took a class on the US West, though, I was hooked on US History. So, my BA (magna cum laude with High Honors in History and a minor in Women's Studies), MA, and Ph.D. all focused on various aspects of US History. In my Ph.D. work at the University of Illinois, I focused on the US and the World. My fields of study were: US History; Gender and Colonialism (a comparison between the British and US Empires); and US Race and Ethnicity. My dissertation looked at different programs of the US Young Women's Christian Association around the world at the turn of the century. This meant that I got to spend a lovely summer in the Berkshires while I did dissertation research at Smith College followed by several months in the fall in Geneva, Switzerland.

I come from a very creative family, and I play bassoon, spin yarn, and knit in my free time (in addition to reading, of course!).

I love helping students understand and appreciate history as they begin to see the people in the past as "people," rather than as just names and dates. One fundamental aspect of learning is being able to communicate what you have learned, and so I also enjoy working with students to improve their writing skills.

In addition to teaching college level history since 2000, I have also graded the Advanced Placement US History test.

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Karen’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Brandeis University - Bachelor in Arts, History

Graduate Degree: Brandeis University - Master of Arts, American History

Graduate Degree: University of Illinois - Doctor of Philosophy, History


spinning yarn, knitting, reading

Tutoring Subjects

AP European History

AP US History

AP World History

College English

College Essays

College Level American History

College World History


Essay Editing

European History


High School English

High School Level American History

High School World History



Social studies

World History


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