Karen Shirer, Ph.D., has 41 years of experience as an educator, manager, researcher, and administrator for family and consumer sciences programs in both formal and non-formal settings. She is currently the associate dean for Extension's Center for Family Development. Her research interests focus on at-risk and low-income families and family life education. She has a strong interest and expertise in participatory processes for planning, implementing and developing community-based educational programs and services. Dr. Shirer's other interest areas include adult learning and development, family demographics, health education and promotion, welfare to work, and balancing work and family.