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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Karen Kopera-Frye named associate dean of NMSU College of Health and Social Services

Karen Kopera-Frye has joined the New Mexico State University College of Health and Social Services as associate dean, Dean Donna Wagner announced. She will focus on academic issues such as recruitment, retention, assessment plans, course scheduling, enrollment strategic planning and mentoring in research.

“It is wonderful to have Dr. Frye on board. She brings some great skills and experience to the College of Health and Social Services, and I know she will be a great addition to our team,” Wagner said.

“I am excited about the opportunity to bring new creative ideas,” Kopera-Frye said. “I see lots of wonderful things going on here and the caring atmosphere among faculty, students and administration. The college truly epitomizes NMSU’s mission as caring and transforming lives. People are so committed.”

Kopera-Frye arrived in Las Cruces after nearly seven years at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. She was the Joseph A. Biedenharn chair in Gerontology and program director in the College of Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences Gerontology. With a background in psychology and gerontology, Kopera-Frye’s research areas include health promotion with ethnically diverse elders, diabetes and obesity research with Latino and Native American populations, and she is currently pursuing a master’s in public administration.

“Health is so important to us. It affects all of us, and all aspects of our lives, not just elders,” she said. “We are living longer, but unfortunately we are more likely to live longer with disabilities and limitations. We need intervention and programming to support healthier living because we are going to live longer. So why not make quality of life key? Health is the key to that.”

A Detroit, Michigan, native, Kopera-Frye earned her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Wayne State University where she specialized in gerontology in the lifespan developmental clinical program. She attributes her early interest in research to engaging in federal grant projects as a freshman.

“I had a very exceptional out of classroom training in research that afforded and opened a lot of doors for me in terms of consulting evaluations, research and grants.” Additionally, Kopera-Frye completed a post doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.