Karen Gray


Education: BSW, University of Missouri (1978), MSW, University of Kansas (1984), Ph.D. in Social Work, University of Texas at Austin (2001)

Research Interests: community organizing, bringing local food to low-income tables 

Dr. Gray holds a BSW from the University of Missouri and an MSW from the University of Kansas. After 17 years of professional practice, Dr. Gray earned a Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin in 2001. Dr. Gray’s research scholarship has focused on poverty and poverty alleviation methods. She has three current interests: Broad-based community organizing, bringing local food to low-income tables and the decision case-based method of instruction.

In 2012, to begin fighting social injustice in the Tulsa area, Dr. Gray worked to bring the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) to Tulsa. She currently serves on the board of the Tulsa IAF affiliate organization, and is completing a book about C.O.P.S, the oldest IAF affiliate.

Dr. Gray’s mother’s family were tenant farmers, and she feels passionately about local food. She has completed three research projects with Tulsa’s Farmers’ Market, and is currently the co-evaluator for a USDA grant that is taking the Double-Up Oklahoma SNAP program to other markets in Oklahoma.

The decision case-based method of instruction is Dr. Gray’s other area of scholarship. She is the co-author of a book, two articles, and three book chapters regarding decision cases. Several of these publications included students as co- authors.

Dr. Gray infuses her scholarship into her classroom, including service-learning projects requested by community leaders. She teaches in both the ACP and DP concentration years as well as the foundation year. She retains two licenses in OK: Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Social Worker-Administration, and is a member of the CSWE Council on Conferences and Faculty Development Committee.

Dr. Gray (right) is pictured at the farmer's market with Penny (left), market administrator, and Lisa (middle), market manager. 

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