Karen Nielson

Picture of DSP Director Karen Nielson
Job title: 
Executive Director

Karen Nielson has been the director of the Disabled Students’ Program at UC Berkeley since July, 2016.  She began her professional life as a sign language interpreter in K-12 and community college. She graduated from University of Connecticut with a dual degree in law and social work. She taught law at a community college in Indiana for nine years and then was the Director of Disability Services at Purdue University for three years.  

Karen’s favorite thing about working at DSP at UC Berkeley is working with our gifted students and advocates to make Berkeley a more inclusive and equitable university for persons with disabilities.  Her pronouns are she/her hers. 

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I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave (person) is not (one) who does not feel afraid, but who conquers that fear.
Nelson Mandela