Leadership Council Member
Portland Community College - Cascade
Dr. Karin Edwards, president of the Cascade Campus of Portland Community College has over 30 years of experience in higher education. A native of the Bronx, N.Y., Karin holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Educational Administration, both from the State University of New York at Albany; and a doctorate in Education from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I.
Dr. Edwards got her start in higher education as an undergraduate student, when she worked in the admissions office at SUNY Albany. She followed this with another admissions position at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, before moving on to a job as a counselor in the Education Opportunity Program at Skidmore College, also in New York, where she worked with fist-generation, low-income, ethnically diverse students.
After graduate school, Karin took a teaching position with the Head Start program in Sullivan County, N.Y., and also worked as a tutor at the nearby community college. This was her first exposure to the world of community colleges, where she eventually found her niche and, in her words, “her purpose in life.”
Karin moved full-time into community college education with a position as a student development counselor at a branch campus of Orange County Community College in Newberg, N.Y., eventually moving on to become director of the campus. Under her leadership, the campus grew from approximately 500 to 1,200 students, and added a child care facility and a center for advanced technology. This earned her a promotion to Orange’s campus in Port Jervis, N.Y., where she continued to oversee the Newberg campus.
From New York, Dr. Edwards transitioned to Chief Student Affairs Officer at Three Rivers Community College in Connecticut, a position at which she would spend 15 years. She made the trip west to Oregon in 2014, when she took up the helm as president of PCC’s Cascade Campus.
Since coming to Oregon, Karin has immersed herself in the North and Northeast Portland communities, serving on boards, working with civic and community organizations, and partnering with other educational institutions.
She is married with two adult children.