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      Faces of Widener

      Karen Carpenter, Director of Campus1Card

      Carlie Sisco, English and creative writing, ‘19

      Karen Carpenter

      Karen Carpenter

      Carpenter is the director of the Campus1Card for all three of Widener's campuses.

      Karen Carpenter began working at Widener University 20 years ago, making the transition from stay-at-home mom with a degree in accounting to faculty member in the university budget department.

      Fourteen years ago, however, Carpenter became a one-person office after being offered the title of Director of Campus1Card. As director, Carpenter is responsible for anything that touches the ID card. This includes access to the residence halls, academic buildings, and the Wellness Center, as well as managing meal swipes, dining dollars, PRIDE Bucks, laundry, and printing dollars. The card also doubles as a library card.

      Carpenter also oversees the card system on the Widener Law Commonwealth campus and Delaware Law School campus, acts as liaison between residence life and enrollment services, troubleshoots repairs for the card system, audits housing and meal plans, and manages card clearances and types for day, graduate, evening, and online students.

      Carpenter finds the greatest challenge of her job to be the constantly evolving, rapid change of technology.

      “I always have to look two steps ahead from where we are now,” Carpenter said.

      Her goal is to make technological changes as seamless and innovative as possible. Carpenter frequently assesses the demands and needs of the community versus the advancements in technology versus the available funding – all while keeping in mind what is a good fit for Widener.

      Technology is also far different from when she started. A great deal of her work is self-taught, so Carpenter is always learning about the inner workings of technology.

      For Carpenter, there is nothing more satisfying than bringing a project together, launching a program, and watching it take off. She enjoys being able to receive feedback from people on campus and see how the technology is being used to benefit the Widener community. As soon as one project is launched, Carpenter is always striving for what is next.

      “No matter what I do and how long it takes me, I’m always ready for the next project,” she said.

      Carpenter currently resides in West Chester, Pennsylvania. When she isn’t working, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her grandchildren. Carpenter is also an avid hockey fan and once managed her son’s ice hockey team, as well as participated on the board of the high school hockey team for several years.


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