Director of Teaching Excellence
Instructional Innovation and Engagement
Karen Falkenberg is the Director of Teaching Excellence with the Institute for Learning and Teaching at Colorado State University. She co-directs the Instructional Innovation & Excellence team which is responsible for faculty and instructor support through a wide variety of programs, services, partnerships, and initiatives. She has over 40 years of experience in STEM, education, and leadership beginning with her work as a research chemical engineer. Her education research has focused on educators’ creativity and innovation, learners’ self-efficacy and cultural competencies, and facilitating change in higher education. Karen has numerous accomplishments that include receiving a patent for solar cell technology, co-authoring Facilitating Change in Higher Education: The Departmental Action Team Model (2020), and acting as a contributing author to the National Academy of Engineering’s publication Technically Speaking: Why all Americans need to know more about technology (2002). She is a co-author of numerous peer reviewed journal articles, has consulted extensively, has facilitated change efforts and new initiatives for decades, has led numerous high performance teams, and has designed and presented countless presentations, workshops, and retreats. Karen was faculty member at Emory University before joining TILT, was the Undergraduate Education Director for the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (a national Science and Technology Center) and acted as a consultant to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to infuse STEM into the traditional Buddhist curriculum; Karen has taught over 1000 practicing and pre-service teachers, and has individually coached or mentored over 150 emerging leaders. She honors and cultivates relationships. In her spare time, she loves to lift weights, take spin classes, be outdoors, garden, learn about anything, and coach others on nutrition, mindset, lifestyle and wellness. Gratitude and joy fills her life.