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Karen E. Roehr

Karen E. Roehr, M.F.A.Associate Professor
  • College
    College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Department
    Art & Design Department
  • Phone
    (978) 934-3586
  • Office
    Mahoney Hall - 216E
  • Email

Research Interests

Typography; Graphic Design; Advertising; Mobile Computing and Apps; Graphic Narrative.


  • BA: Creative Visual Arts, Bowdoin College - Brunswick, ME USA
    Supporting Area: Biology
  • MFA: Graphic Communications, Washington University in St. Louis, School of Art - St. Louis MO
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: Health Care Graphics


Professor Roehr is an associate professor of Art and Design. She also works as a graphic designer, illustrator, comic strip artist, and writer. Work has been published in Rockport books and Print books/Magazine.

Teaching interests include integrating professional practice and engagement with social/environmental concerns and interdisciplinary projects/classes with other faculty including Juliette Rooney-Varga from the CCI. She currently teaches Teaches courses in typography, graphic design, advertising, mobile computing and app design, and in past years Word&Image: Narrative, History and the Comic strip, Tangible Interactive Design (co-taught with CS faculty) and supervised numerous student senior projects and directed studies.

She creates the comic strip Gymratz©, now in its 15th year, for International Gymnast Magazine. She is currently working on posters for under-represented endangered wildlife and a graphic novel. In addition, Karen is creative director/consultant for Café Solar, a fair trade coffee company that uses sustainable practices to grow and process coffee.

Awards for her design work include Art Director’s Boston, Creativity Annual NY. She previously produced the children's cable show Creative License for Arlington Cable Access Television that won a second place New England regional award and two local awards.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Service Learning Grant (2015), Service, Community - Umass Lowell
  • Creative Grant (2014), Service, Community - Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Foundation
  • Excellence in Innovative and Transformational Education (2013), Teaching - Umass Lowell
  • NSF grants (2013), Teaching - National Science Foundation
  • Teaching Awards (2013), Teaching - Umass Lowell
  • Art Department Excellence in Teaching Award (2011), Teaching - Umass Lowell
  • Creative Economy Grant (2011), Service, Community - UMass System
  • Creative Service Learning Grant (2011), Service, Community - Umass Lowell
  • Teaching /Learning Grant (2011), Teaching - Umass Lowell
  • Excellence in Teaching (2010), Teaching - Student Government Association
  • Faculty Assessment Fellowship (2010), Service, University - Umass Lowell
  • UML Faculty Teaching Center (2007), Scholarship/Research - Umass Lowell
  • NSF grants that integrated design with computer science (2007), Scholarship/Research - National Science Foundation
  • Healy Public Service Grant, (2005), Service, Community - Umass Lowell
  • Seed Grant (2005), Scholarship/Research - Council on Teaching and Learning
  • Grant (2004), Service, Community - Council on Diversity and Pluralism
  • Kimberly Colen Grant (2004), Scholarship/Research - Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
  • Teaching Award/ National Athletes Day (2004), Teaching - Umass Lowell/national
  • Healy Grant (2003), Scholarship/Research - Umass Lowell
  • Art Department Excellence in Teaching Award (2002), Teaching - Umass Lowell
  • Teaching Award / National Athletes Day (2002), Teaching - Umass Lowell/national
  • Arts Grant (2001), Service, Community - Massachusetts Cultural Council

Selected Publications

  • Roehr, K.E., Miniature Book Society., . (2012). [Horn book for contemporary times].
  • Roehr, K.E., Bowdoin College., . (1981). Reflections, creativity, art.

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Collaborative Research: Computational Thinking Through Mobile Computing (2012), Grant -
    Roehr, K.E. (Co-Principal)
  • Performamatics: Connecting Computer Science to the Performing, Fine, and Design Arts (2007), Grant -
    Heines, J.M. (Principal), Greher, G.R. (Co-Principal), Jeffers, J. (Co-Principal), Kuhn, S. (Co-Principal), Martin, F. (Co-Principal), Roehr, K.E. (Co-Principal), Selleck, N.G. (Co-Principal)
  • UMLtimate Studio (2005), Grant - University of Massachusetts Lowell
    Archibald, D.C., Roehr, K.E.
  • Trees and Pop-Up Books: Developing Connections between Art and Computer Science (2004), Grant - UML Teaching and Learning Seed Grant
    Martin, F., Roehr, K.E.