SPOTLIGHT ON HERRICK SOCIETY MEMBER KAREN NICHOLSON
Karen Nicholson, BA Sociology ’69, MA ’71, one of the first female wardens in the US Bureau of Prisons, recently endowed the Karen Nicholson Corrections Scholarship for deserving Sociology students concentrating in Criminology.
After a rewarding career with the Bureau of Prisons, Nicholson started a consultancy, Corrections Consultants, LLC in Lewisburg, PA. Asked about her motivation for her career path, and her interest in establishing the scholarship fund she responded, “I have had the most interesting and rewarding career in corrections. When you enjoy going to work every day, you know you have picked the right career. Whether you are working in a jail, prison, or in some form of community corrections, it is all about relationships with the staff with whom you work as well as how you treat inmates in your facilities.”
She goes on to say, “The success I have had has been a result of my classes in Sociology and Psychology at Kent State. In addition, my sociology professor and mentor, Dr. George Pownall, believed in me and was able to encourage me to have two internships – one with the Federal Bureau of Prisons; the other with the state of Ohio in a halfway house. As a result of my internships, he encouraged me to apply for a position in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I was hired as a Cottage Supervisor with the Bureau of Prisons in WVA in May of 1971. This resulted in a rewarding 27-year career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 12 different locations.”
Karen is also an accomplished public speaker, volunteering to speak to and mentor students in Sociology/Criminology at KSU and other organizations.