Karen Kolivoski
Howard University, Assistant Professor - School of Social Work

Karen M. Kolivoski, PhD, MSW is an Assistant Professor at the Howard University School of Social Work, where she is a faculty member and researcher in the Community, Administration, and Policy (CAP) Practice concentration. Her social work-related interests involve intersections of the child welfare, juvenile, and criminal justice systems. Her goal is to advance social justice through improving the lives of children and youth who experience being involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, including reducing racial disparities.

Dr. Kolivoski was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she saw racial and economic disparities firsthand. There, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Mercyhurst College in 2005, graduating summa cum laude. She then graduated with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree in 2006 and a Ph.D. in Social Work in 2012, both from the University of Pittsburgh. Her career next took her to Baltimore, MD, where again, she was witness to racial and economic inequalities. There, she completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work. In 2015, Dr. Kolivoski began her faculty position at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she continues her research, mentors students, and teaches courses in social welfare policy and criminal justice in the MSW program.

Dr. Kolivoski is also a Data Consultant for the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR). In this role, she supports jurisdictions across the U.S. that are implementing the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM). Dr. Kolivoski also works locally with two DC metro area counties on CYPM implementation and evaluation.

She is a recent recipient of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Fellowship. She has also received competitive training fellowships to attend the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Building a Multidisciplinary Pipeline of Researchers in Child Abuse and Neglect: Summer Training Institute for Early Career Transitioning Scholars (R25; 2018) and the Summer Research Institute from the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) at Cornell University (2015).

In addition to her professorial research and professional memberships, she regularly publishes in and provides peer-review for several journals, and is an editorial board member for Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal and Journal of Children and Poverty.

She currently lives in Silver Spring, MD, with her husband and dog.