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Katherine Hansen- Communications and Community Engagement Specialist

Office: Suite 108, 3600 Center
Phone: (804) 827-2612
Fax: (804) 828-7539
Email Katherine

Karen Ballengee Bio PicAs the Communications and Community Engagement Specialist, my role is to provide specialized professional education, intervention, and outreach services in the area of adult education and literacy through creating and developing new programs, initiatives, and events. I design and deliver training, as well as provide coordination and project management for programs, conferences, and events. I also plan and deliver multiple aspects of a comprehensive communications and marketing program.

I bring to VALRC decades of global inter-cultural communications, business development, and teaching experience that bridge the academic, non-profit, and corporate worlds. I have served as a corporate Director of Training and Organization Development for a global organization, university ESOL instructor, corporate trainer, project manager and program development specialist. I hold an M.Ed. in adult learning from VCU with a specialization in human resource development and a business management degree. I am also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and hold a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) from Cambridge University. Not to be overlooked, I am the daughter of an ABE/GED/math teacher!

Throughout my career, I have directly worked with a majority of world languages and cultures specifically gaining deep insight into traditionally Eastern-termed cultures such as Arabic, Asian, and former Eastern Europe. I developed a TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) job readiness and ESL training program for refugees in the Detroit area as well as led the efforts in creating a global mobile learning and communications platform for non-profit organizations. I also planned, developed, and facilitated training, programs, and events for the Area Agency on Aging and Disability.

Far from a theoretical challenge, I have lived as an immigrant in a foreign country for many years and thus able to bring an innate cultural sensitivity and understanding when leading groups and teams. Developing people, products, programs and organizations is my passion! In my free time, I enjoy all things culinary from baking to cooking to eating. I am a passionate animal lover who relishes spending time outdoors with my Newfoundland dog and my husband of 20 years.

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The VALRC, located at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU School of Education), is funded primarily through the VA Department of Education.
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