2022 Distinguished Alumni
M.A. Environmental Studies
As a Kansas farm girl, Karen Morgan’s eyes were open to the earth’s amazing environment. However, it wasn’t until age 40 that she realized she needed an education to unlock the mysteries of the world. With the support and encouragement from instructors who recognized her curiosity and zeal to know more, Karen earned her bachelor’s degree from OSU’s geography department and a master’s in environmental studies. Her thesis advisor, Dr. Steve Stadler, supported her idea to study potential correlations between Tulsa County’s air quality and respiratory disease.
A National Geographic Society internship in Washington, D.C. was the icing on the cake for the 47-year-old OSU graduate. Although a career in medical geography was a dream, Karen found another love working for Girl Scouts of the USA. She became a Certified Girl Scout Executive Officer and served as CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma and Girl Scouts of the Ozark Area.
As a retiree, Karen is involved in Monarch butterfly protection, water gardening, and being a group discussion leader for Bible Study Fellowship International.
All of Karen’s children attended OSU and the first of her eight grandchildren was born the night before she finished her thesis in 1988. “Thank you, Oklahoma State University,” Karen said. Quoting The Starfish Thrower story, she added, “You made a difference to this one.”