“Karen Kelsky is a sort of macabre ‘Ms. Mentor’ for the 21st century” ~ Matthew Pratt Guterl
Karen Kelsky is the Founder and President of The Professor Is In, which provides advice and consulting services on the academic job search and all elements of the academic and post-academic career. She speaks nationally and internationally on topics related to Ph.D. professionalization, and is a weekly columnist at Chronicle Vitae. Her latest book is The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D. Into a Job (Random House 2015).
Karen is a former tenured professor and Department Head with 15 years of experience teaching at the University of Oregon and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her Ph.D. is in Cultural Anthropology, with a focus on Japan, from the University of Hawai’i. Her B.A. is from the University of Michigan. Her first book, an academic monograph, Women on the Verge: Japanese Women, Western Dreams, was published in 2001 by Duke University Press. She trained 5 of her own Ph.D. students who have gone on to successful careers in academia and related fields. She worked as a committee member with numerous Ph.D.s and Masters students, and hundreds of undergraduate students.
Karen held her first Academic Job Market Workshop while still a Ph.D. student at the University of Hawai’i, after she was offered her first tenure-track job. It took her two years to land that job, and she wanted to pass on the hard-earned lessons of those years to her fellow graduate students. That was the origin of The Professor Is In, which launched in 2010.
Karen was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a city she still loves. She spent two years after leaving her tenured position working in the federally-funded McNair Program at the University of Oregon, where her job was to advise qualified UO undergraduate students to prepare for and succeed in Ph.D. programs. With the success of The Professor Is In, though, she now devotes all of her time to the business. She lives in Eugene, Oregon with her partner Kellee Weinhold; they now jointly run the business, with Kellee handling the live Interview and Campus Visit Interventions and the Unstuck Productivity Coaching program. When Karen isn’t working, she’s dancing 4-5 days a week, and experimenting with skin care and makeup, her latest passion project.
Karen and Kellee have two children, and two rabbits, Penelope and Morris. Currently much of their time is spent in political protest against the current administration, with a focus on Black Lives Matter, and the #MeToo movement. Karen was the originator of the #MeTooPhD hashtag as an outcome of her Sexual Harassment in the Academy crowdsource survey that went viral in late 2017.
In her previous life Karen made and sold jewelry from Japanese paper and fabric in her business Paper Demon Jewelry. That is on hiatus now, as she’s occupied managing thousands of clients at The Professor Is In, writing a weekly advice column for Chronicle Vitae, and speaking nationally and internationally to university audiences and scholarly associations about the academic job market and Ph.D. professionalization. Check out her book, The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D. Into a Job (Random House, 2016)
Learn more about Dr. Karen, Kellee, the team, and ways we can help, by reading The Professor’s Testimonials. Read examples of her advice to students and junior faculty on the page “Pearls of Wisdom: The Blog” And get in touch—she’s always happy to hear from you.
Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.