Karen Kelsky (PhD ’96) is an author, columnist, and founder and president of The Professor is In—a consultation service for people pursuing careers in academia. Learning to surf in Waikīkī during her first semester of graduate studies led to her doctoral dissertation topic at UH Mānoa and her first book. ”[It] would not have been imaginable any place else but at the University of Hawai‘i,” she shares.
Though she is most known for her work on graduate education, Kelsky has become a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement. In 2017, she set up a public online survey on sexual harassment in institutions of higher learning. The response was overwhelming, the findings deeply troubling. Since then, Kelsky has been traveling the country, speaking out on issues of sexual assault in the academy, with a focus on empowering victims and training people in leadership.