collaboratory
Karen Lawrence portrait
Karen Lawrence
Discipline
Mathematics and Statistics

Karen is a Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Mohawk College who brings international industry experience and over 25 years of experience in statistics education to the classroom. Her main areas of expertise include applied statistics, quality and process improvement, designed experiments, curriculum development, operations management, and professional training. Karen holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Acadia University and a Master of Science in Applied Statistics from the University of Delaware. Karen also holds an Academic Limited Engineering License (LEL) from Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO).

Karen joined Mohawk College in 2002 and has taught courses across the college’s academic catalogue supporting Technology, Business and Health Sciences.  Karen has recently returned from a secondment (2010 to 2021) with McMaster University’s W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology (SEPT) where she designed, led and instructed the undergraduate statistics, quality and operations management courses. Karen was Co-Champion for SEPT’s successful ACBSP accreditation (2019) that internationally recognises the 4-year Bachelor of Technology program streams as equivalent business programs.
Karen brings to the classroom international industry experience, having worked in the United States, New Zealand, France and now Canada.  She has been employed in various industries (chemical research development, medical products, manufacturing assembly, and global distribution systems) at such diverse companies as DuPont, Apple, and Amadeus GDS.  Karen’s many roles in the industry have involved the implementation and maintenance of quality systems, statistical analysis, process quality improvement, corporate performance measures, statistical process control, designed experiments, production management and corporate training.

Karen’s academic journey includes developing courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, coordinating degree programs, and supervising both industrial internships and student projects at various institutions in the United States, New Zealand and Canada. She has been an invited speaker at the annual conference of the Ontario College Mathematics Association, the Field’s Institute Mathematics Education Forum and Pearson Publishing Education Forums. Her passion for statistics education has led to numerous professional addresses, research contributions and written publications. Karen's current interests are connecting statistics education, and education in the field of Quality, to the current realities of an automated and data driven world. Part of the connection is to see how reflection questioning can be used to facilitate assessment while building essential employability skills.
Karen enjoys an active family life with a husband, two daughters, two cats and Dandie Dinmont Terriers. All share a passion for rugby (go All Blacks!), Formula 1, good food, traveling (maybe not the cats) and staying active. Karen is currently working with local groups to promote native planting and pollinator corridors while building a pollinator garden and bird-friendly backyard habitat.