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Penn announced philosophy professor Karen Detlefsen serve as the vice provost for education on Tuesday.

Philosophy professor Karen Detlefsen will serve as the vice provost for education beginning on July 1.

Provost Wendell Pritchett and Deputy Provost Beth Winkelstein announced on Tuesday that Detlefsen will replace Winkelstein, who previously served as vice provost for education. The vice provost for education oversees undergraduate and graduate education at Penn, designing and implementing policies that promote academic excellence, innovation, and interdisciplinary knowledge, Penn Today reported

Detlefsen has taught at Penn since 2001 as a professor of philosophy and education, Penn Today reported. Her interests include women in the history of philosophy, the history and philosophy of education, and the history and philosophy of science. She is an affiliated faculty member of the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality, and Women Studies, and founding director of Penn’s Project for Philosophy for the Young.

“I am excited to be taking on the role of Vice Provost for Education at Penn. I've enjoyed all aspects of my work at Penn, but education has always held a special place for me,” Detlefsen wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian. “Throughout my years at Penn, I've relished interacting in the classroom, and through various forms of mentoring, with students from our undergraduate and graduate populations, including our Professional Master's students.”

Detlefsen has been recognized for her work as a recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, which is the highest University-wide teaching honor, and the Kahn Award for Distinguished Teaching by an Assistant Professor in the School of Arts & Sciences, Penn Today reported.

She has also developed collaborations among undergraduate and graduate students at Penn, educators in the Philadelphia School District, and other community partners to bring philosophy education to local K-12 students, Detlefsen wrote to the DP.

“Karen Detlefsen is renowned for her strong commitments to teaching and education, not only on our campus but also in our Philadelphia community. She will be an ideal partner to help us chart the course for graduate and undergraduate education at Penn,” Pritchett told Penn Today. 

Detlefsen earned a Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Toronto, an M.A. from the University of Western Ontario, and a B.A. from the University of Calgary. She is the co-editor of “The Routledge Handbook of Early Modern European Women Philosophers” and “Women and Liberty, 1600-1800,” as well as the editor of “Descartes’ Meditations: A Critical Guide.” Detlefsen has also authored many articles and reviews in the discipline of early modern philosophy. 

“Taking this next step to work on policies that advance Penn's educational mission is a tremendous honor, and I look forward to working on behalf of the Penn community in the years ahead,” Detlefsen wrote to the DP.

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