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Karen Badger, PhD, MSW's picture
Karen Badger, PhD, MSW
Office Location: 

Room 123K Wethington Building

900 South Limestone Street

Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0200

Office Phone Number: 
(859) 323-7279
Position Title: 
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Education

A social worker with approximately 25 years of experience, Dr. Badger brings the perspective of a practitioner, educator, and administrator to her work. Her social work experience includes direct practice in community mental health and private practice settings as well as medical social work at Shriners Burns Hospital (Cincinnati) and manager of the Medical Division of Social Work at University Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio.  Dr. Badger has served in numerous faculty leadership roles at UK, including Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs in the College of Social Work and Assistant Provost and Associate Dean of Career and Exploratory Advising in the Undergraduate Education Division.  As an Associate Professor in the College of Health Sciences, she currently serves as the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education in the College of Health Sciences.

Dr. Badger’s areas of undergraduate and graduate teaching have included social work practice, administration, ethics, and interprofessional practice. Her research interests focus on psychosocial adjustment and support of burn survivors and their families post-injury, with special emphasis on community reintegration, social adjustment, and peer support. She has collaborated with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Charitable Foundation and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation on burn injury initiatives, including adapting the Phoenix SOAR® peer support program to better meet the needs of the fire service and expand fire service specific programming at the Phoenix World Burn Congress. Her interests also include program development and evaluation, along with education initiatives and assessment. She is the PI of a new Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program grant in the UK College of Social Work.  

Dr. Badger is a member of the board of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors and a member of the American Burn Association (ABA). She is co-chair of the Aftercare Reintegration Committee—a joint committee of the American Burn Association (ABA) and the Phoenix Society that focuses on community re-entry and support of burn survivors and families. She has been recognized through the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award (2013) for her contributions and through the UK Center for Interprofessional Healthcare Education as a Faculty Fellow.  She was selected as a 2014-15 UK Faculty Fellow in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Academic Leadership Development Program.  Dr. Badger is also a recipient of the 2014 Phoenix World Burn Congress the Breslau Award, its highest distinction.

Undergraduate Initiatives