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Karen Kopera-Frye recommended as new dean of College of Arts and Sciences

Aloha Kākou,

Karen Kopera-Frye
Karen Kopera-Frye

Dr. Karen Kopera-Frye has been recommended for approval by President David Lassner as UH Hilo’s dean for the College of Arts and Sciences effective December 28, 2020, following public posting on the September 17 UH Board of Regents meeting agenda.

Dr. Karen Kopera-Frye received her doctor of philosophy in developmental psychology with a minor in clinical psychology from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. She began her professional career as a research assistant in fall 1985 and her instructional career in fall 1987 as an instructor. Her administrative career began in September 2010 when she served for two years as interim department head of the Department of Gerontology, Sociology, and Political Science at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Beginning in September 2012, she served as the department head for four years of the newly formed Department of Gerontology, which she was instrumental in relocating to the School of Health Sciences. In September 2016, she began service as associate dean for research and associate dean for academics for the College of Health and Social Sciences at New Mexico State University. She then served as interim department head of the Department of Public of Health Sciences in November 2017 through January 2019.

Dr. Kopera-Frye has an extensive list of refereed publications, newsletter articles, presentations and published abstracts from 1985 through 2019 with numerous refereed publications in progress. She engaged in grant writing with several successfully funded submissions and is especially skilled in obtaining external fiscal resources for programs serving those who are economically disadvantaged.

A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Michael Bitter for serving as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences through December 23, 2020.

Mahalo to the search committee as well as all of the campus constituents that participated in the process. The investment of your time and attention speaks well of your care for UH Hilo and our future. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Kopera-Frye to our UH Hilo ‘ohana in late fall.

Bonnie D. Irwin


UH Board of Regents confirms Karen Kopera-Frye as new dean of College of Arts and Sciences

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