Karen Pearson, NSF/TECH-FIT PI


To create a science-learning environment for students that focuses on research and problem solving while engaging students in discussions and examples that address current topics impacting our world.  My classroom activities and faculty development work focuses on the delivery of new curriculum which will better prepare graduates for design-related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) jobs in a marketplace that is increasingly demanding green and sustainability design know-how.


  • Ph.D.  Inorganic Chemistry, Washington State University, May 2003
    Research: Synthesis and Characterization of Organic-Inorganic Perovskite Materials with Device Applications.
    Advisor: Roger D. Willett
  • B.A. (Chemistry, ACS certified), Clark University, 1998
    Senior Research:  Synthesis and Characterization of Low Dimensional Linear Magnetic Chain Polymers
    Supported by:  NSF and CHEMDESIGN Corp.
    Research Advisors:  Mark M. Turnbull, Christopher P. Landee


    Fashion Institute of Technology: SUNY
    Associate Professor of Science and Mathematics                Fall 2004 – Present


Advancing Design-related Technological Education: A Three-way Partnership (TECH-FIT)

  • National Science Foundation: Advancing Technical Education (ATE) project number 1003034.
  • Will provide 150,000 dollars in funding over two year beginning June 1st, 2010 to impact curriculum and student outcomes as described below.
  • This ATE proposal promotes “thinking green” across the curriculum. Specifically focused on introductory science, it is intended to better prepare FIT’s graduates to meet industry demands for the design, development and manufacture of green and sustainable products such as textiles, toys, home products, cosmetics, and packaging. The current marketplace is demanding highly skilled employees and upper level study. Through innovative curricula and creative pedagogies, faculty will motivate FIT students, eighty-five percent of whom are female, to persist in the study of science and to improve their skills. The goals of this National Science Foundation ATE project at the Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY are to 1) improve students’ industry-critical science skills and 2) improve teaching effectiveness. The primary audiences are FIT’s two-year college students and science faculty. The secondary audiences are high school students and science faculty from schools such as the High School of the Fashion Industries that typically send students to FIT. The project’s two major foci are Curriculum and Educational Materials Development and Professional Development for Educators.

Teaching Sustainability: A Cross-disciplinary Outreach

  • Fashion Institute of Technology: Sustainability Council grant award for the academic year 2010-11.
  • The objectives of this project have been designed to benefit the greater FIT community. They include 1.) providing professional development to faculty seeking to infuse sustainability into the curriculum, 2.) expanding the campus conversation on sustainability and 3.) serving as a model for future activities at FIT, as well as at other institutions.

Realize Science Technology Grant

  • School & science technology resources grant awarding a “Dlite” hand-held video microscope and discovery set for use in the classroom.   The award will allow for images of materials and surfaces to be displayed in the classroom.