Dr. Jennifer Karlin, Professor

PhD | Iron Range Engineering | Faculty

Address: Office | 1001 Chestnut St W, Virginia, MN 55792
Phone: 605-209-2404
Email: jennifer.karlin@mnsu.edu


  • PhD in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan

Research Areas

  • Student development
  • Faculty development
  • Building healthy organizations
  • Operational excellence
  • Economic development

Dr. Jennifer Karlin received her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her PhD in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan, specializing in engineering management. Her dissertation defined lean logistics. As far as her committee could determine, she was the first person in the industrial and operational engineering department to successfully defend a solely qualitative methodology dissertation. While a graduate student at the University of Michigan, she taught a senior elective and worked for the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. Jen spent the first half of her faculty career at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where she was a professor of industrial engineering held the Pietz Professorship for entrepreneurship and economic development. She taught courses in engineering management, quality, strategy, and operational excellence (e.g. lean and six sigma) in both the industrial engineering and engineering management undergraduate and graduate programs. She served a five year term as the Coordinator of Faculty Development for the university.

Jen is happy to have joined the progressive, innovative team in the department of integrated engineering where she learns alongside her colleagues, whether they be students, faculty, or staff. In her research, Jen studies colleges and universities as organizations and how adjustments in organizational infrastructure can create positive change. She considers infrastructure artifacts at all levels, including learning spaces, policies and procedures, governance, and interactions across the ecosystem. Jen’s work is rooted in the core areas of economic development, organizational excellence, and holistic learner development. Within organizational excellence, she specializes in transformational processes, such as lean thinking, six sigma, and effective change management (both strategic change and process improvement). She has also combined these areas to develop systems for change in, and evaluate organizational health of, universities as organizations. These systems include organizational learning, organizational culture and climate, faculty development, and other precursors for student and faculty success. This combination resulted in a National Science Foundation CAREER award. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the United States Air Force (through a congressional earmark), and the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA).

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