Clark State College has appointed Karen Benton as assistant dean of health, human and public services (HHPS).
Dr. Scott Dolan, dean of health, human and public services at Clark State, said Benton will be a valuable addition to the leadership team at Clark State.
“Karen brings a great amount of knowledge concerning Clark State and in particular the programs offered in the public services portion of HHPS,” he said. “Additionally, Karen possesses many community connections in the Clark and Greene County area that will be beneficial as we look to expand and grow programs offered in HHPS.”
Benton began her teaching career as an adjunct at Clark State in 1999 while also working at the Clark County Juvenile Court as director of diversion programs and grants coordinator. She transitioned into teaching criminal justice full-time at Urbana University and continued teaching part-time at Clark State.
“The criminal justice program coordinator position at Clark State became available four years ago and it presented me with an opportunity to redesign the criminal justice majors, making them more current and relevant,” said Benton who has been serving as interim assistant dean of health, human and public services since May of this year.
Benton’s experience also includes roles as a juvenile probation officer, intensive supervision probation officer, director of diversion programming, and the grants coordinator for the Clark County Juvenile Court.
Benton also serves on the board of Project Woman (PW). PW is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault by providing services and programs to protect, educate, and empower. Benton has long been a victim’s advocate having worked in the juvenile justice system and being trained as a mediator prior to becoming an educator.
Benton said she plans to continue to familiarize herself with the variety of programs offered in the Health, Human and Public Service area and spend time at Clar State’s campuses in Beavercreek, Xenia, and at Hi-Point in Logan counties.
“I appreciate the opportunity Clark State has afforded me, as a first- generation college student that graduated from this institution with an associate's degree in human services/social services,” said Benton. “That progressed to this opportunity to help grow programs and develop educational opportunities and partnerships that will benefit our students and the community.