Karen S Amen

Degree and Year: 
BA 1966
Professional Title: 
Publicly elected official: Board of Lower Platte South Natural Resources District; Coimmissioner, Nebraska Natural Resources Commission
Employer: 
Self-Employed

Professional Background: 
Owner, JMS Associates, for 20 years: a consortium of colleagues doing project management in a wide array of public and private sector organizations; For final 8 years before retirement, public involvement and project management at Olsson Associates, an engineering and planning corporation

How has being an English graduate from Duke University helped shape your professional success?: 
When I first started graduate school in geology, some 5 years after my undergraduate degree, several of my geology professors asked me to tell them more about how I came into the sciences. "That's easy," I replied, "I'm a Duke English major. We're curious about everything and we can do almost anything" I said it with a big smile, and everyone chuckled. But all of us recognized the truth of that statement. English majors not only have an in-depth background in all the humanities but also learn how to analyze and how to think about the broad array of human endeavors and emotions. And, of course, we've learned how to communicate those insights to friends and family, employees, and the public at large. Throughout my adult personal and professional life, being a Duke English major has been a core component of my identity. Thank you, Duke faculty and students of 50 years ago. You've been an essential part of the good life that I've been living since then.