Karen Butler-Purry, associate provost and dean of the Graduate and Professional School at Texas A&M University, has been named the 2021 recipient of the Debra Stewart Award for Outstanding Leadership in Graduate Education by the Council of Graduate Schools.
The Council of Graduate Schools praised Dr. Butler-Purry for improving graduate students’ quality of life, educational experiences, professional development opportunities, as well as expanding access and funding opportunities for underrepresented minoritized students. In addition, CGS recognized her service as chair of the CGS board of directors and on the executive board of the Association of American Universities’ Association of Graduate Schools and her advocacy for graduate education across the country in the areas of graduate student well-being, diversifying career pathways, and broadening diversity resources.
Dr. Butler-Purry said she was especially honored to receive the Debra Stewart award, given the role Stewart played in her development as a leader in graduate education. “This is a special honor,” Dr. Butler-Purry said. “Debra took me under her wing as I transitioned into my leadership role in graduate education at Texas A&M and in my early involvement with CGS. Her mentorship has been invaluable to me over the years, and her leadership, passion, and dedication to advancing graduate education has been something I have tried to emulate.”
Dr. Butler-Purry is a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she majored in electrical engineering. She holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Below is a video of Dr. Butler-Purry discussing the award.