Karen Steen, professor, Fashion Studies and program director, Fashion Design at Cazenovia College, has been awarded the Ellen Swallow Richards Award for the Central New York Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Educations (CNYAFCSE).

The Ellen Swallow Richards Award is given to honor the founder of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS). The award is given to a non-FCS professional who has made an outstanding contribution and significant impact to the field of Family and Consumer Sciences education at the local and state level.

Steen has supported local and state FCS programs for over 30 years. Her contributions to students and teachers across New York include developing articulation agreements and relationships between Cazenovia College, and high schools and BOCES to support the NYS FCS student learning objectives in clothing and textiles, clothing production and fashion industry practices. Steen provides substantial support both in and out of the classroom, including development of classroom resources, curricula, and assessment tools. She has coordinated with colleagues to provide on-campus tours, backstage tours at the College’s annual fashion show as well as assisting with FCS teacher professional development.

A supporter of student leadership, Steen showcases the Cazenovia College Fashion program at the New York State Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (NYSFCCLA) state conferences and serves as an external evaluator of student competitions. Additionally, Steen encourages high school students and families to attend the annual fashion show. She has developed articulation agreements with high schools so students may enroll in for-credit Cazenovia College fashion classes and participate in the jury selection process and annual runway fashion show.

Karen is well deserving of this award,” noted Kim Waale, division chair, Art & Design. “She is committed to utilizing her academic and technical expertise to reach into the community and empower individuals and provide them with career opportunities.”

Steen holds a Bachelor of Science in Clothing Design from Cornell University and a Master's in Vocational Education from SUNY Oswego. Steen will be honored on May 11 at the Sherwood Inn in Skaneateles, N.Y.