Karen J. Head, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Director of the Communication Center

Member Of:
  • School of Literature, Media, and Communication
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Karen Head (PhD University of Nebraska) is Director of the Communication Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and an Assistant Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. Since 2006, she has been a Visiting Scholar at Technische Universität-Dortmund, Germany, where she serves as the primary consultant for their academic center. Her research areas focus on writing and communication theory and pedagogical practice, especially in the following areas: higher education rhetoric, sustainable and innovative pedagogy and space design implementation, development of writing centers, writing program administration, communication ecologies, technical communication, business communication, multidisciplinary communication, and creative writing (especially as it applies to extended risk-taking in subsequent communication projects). In 2012-13, she was part of the GT team awarded a Gates Foundation Grant to develop one of the first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) focused on college writing, and she has published several articles about the experience. Her book Disrupt This!: MOOCs and the Promises of Technology is forthcoming from University Press of New England in 2017. She has also published four books of poetry (Sassing, My Paris YearShadow Boxes and On Occasion: Four Poets, One Year), co-edited the poetry anthology, Teaching as a Human Experience: An Anthology of Poetry, and exhibited several acclaimed digital poetry projects. An award winning teacher, Head’s courses center on analyzing, critiquing, evaluating, and creating a variety of texts that demonstrate an understanding of audience and adaptation of multimodal rhetorical strategies and tools. In 2013, she won Georgia Tech's CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Award. She also serves as the editor of Southern Discourse in the Center: A Journal of Multiliteracy and Innovation. In summer 2016, she became the editor of the international poetry journal, the Atlanta Review.


  • Ph.D., University of Nebraska
  • M.A., University of Tennessee
  • B.A., Oglethorpe University
  • A.A., Dekalb College
Awards and
  • 2016 Women Out Front “Class of 2016” Service Award
  • 2015 GT Office of Diversity: Faces of Inclusive Excellence
  • 2013 GT Women’s Leadership Conference “Woman of Distinction Faculty Award”
  • 2013 CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Award
  • 2010 Oxford International Women’s Festival Poetry Prize
  • 2009 All Nations Press Editor’s Choice of Excellence in Poetry
  • Class of 1934 Course Survey Teaching Effectiveness Award (multi-year winner)
Areas of
  • Creativity
  • Educational Technology
  • Higher Education
  • Innovation
  • MOOC
  • Multiliteracy
  • Poetry
  • Representations Of Self
  • Rhetoric
  • The Communication Center
  • Tutoring
  • Writing