Reinhardt University’s Dr. Karen Owen Debuts Book on Women in Politics

Dr. Karen Owen, Reinhardt University assistant professor of political science and director of the MPA program, is making great contributions to political science with her new book that examines the role of mentorship in helping women advance in politics.

“Women Officeholders and the Role Models Who Pioneered the Way,” published by Lexington Books – The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, combines three decades of electoral data and analyzes why American women run for political offices and how their predecessors influenced them.

Owen said the idea for the book came from her experience working on Capitol Hill.

“Dr. Owen’s work convincingly argues, through a variety of research methodologies and data, that, indeed, women who hold public office serve as not only role models for other women but actively mentor and motivate them to serve the public good,” said Dr. Mark Roberts, Reinhardt University Provost. “Dr. Owen’s book is yet another piece of tangible evidence that Reinhardt University’s faculty are among the best and brightest serving in higher education.”

Owen worked for five years conducting interviews, collecting data and compiling information.

“The stories of women I interviewed for this book were remarkable,” she said of the 10 Congresswomen and 55 state senators/representatives she interviewed. They were encouraging and “eye opening.”

“I did not realize how much discrimination some of them felt and had to overcome and how much grit they had to employ to be above double standards in politics that were at play,” Owen continued.

The book is geared toward academic classrooms, specifically those related to women in politics, and its purpose is to analyze the reason women run for public office.

“It was written with intentions to share the research in collegiate classrooms, including courses in upper level political science, gender studies and other graduate classes. Students will learn a lot about the role of women in politics from the book. I would like to see it used in the collegiate environment and in every day discussions so we can explore women’s roles in politics,” Owen said. “But anyone interested in women in politics and the encouragement of role models will find the book interesting.”

Owen said she hopes other collegiate professors will share her years of research with their students like she does with hers at Reinhardt University.

“Dr. Owen’s devotion to her scholarship is equaled only by her devotion to her students, whether first-year students or graduate students. But the partnership between professors and students is exactly what Reinhardt University does best,” Roberts said. “And Dr. Owen is one of our shining role models for successful women in academia.”

“Women Officeholders and the Role Models Who Pioneered the Way” is available on Amazon and for Kindle, on Google Books and at other online retailers including It also is available through Lexington Books.

Dr. Owen will hold a presentation of her book at the R.T. Jones Library, located at 116 Brown Industrial Parkway, Canton, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., March 13.

Dr. Owen is a gender politics and American institutions scholars. She has published articles on congressional elections, state legislative partisanship and women serving within local levels of government and trial courts. She is a recipient of Reinhardt University’s Jane England Teaching Excellence Award (2016).

A native of Canton, Ga., Owen graduated from Cherokee High School in 1998. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Georgia in 2001. She earned her Master of Public Administration in 2005 and her Ph.D. in political science in 2012, also from the University of Georgia.

She is married to Cliff Owen, and they have two children, Clayton, 7, and Cora, 3.

CTC Honors Top Students, Faculty at Awards Luncheon

Chattahoochee Technical College is celebrating excellence in technical education.

At an annual awards luncheon held at the North Metro Campus in Acworth on Friday, Jan. 27, Chattahoochee Technical College President Dr. Ron Newcomb named the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL), Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) and Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction winners.

L-R: CTC President Dr. Ron Newcomb, GOAL winner Katherine Hamilton, Rick Perkins Award winner Juanita Forrester, and EAGLE winner Andrea Newsome

The 2017 GOAL winner, Katherine Hamilton of Woodstock, and the Rick Perkins Award winner, Juanita Forrester of Jasper, will advance to the regional competition, where they will compete against top students and instructors from across the state. As the EAGLE student, Andrea Newsome of Acworth will represent Chattahoochee Tech at the state EAGLE Leadership Institute in March.

“Today, we are recognizing the best of the best. Today reminds us about the exceptionality of our students and faculty; about the difference education makes in each of their lives and the lives of their families; and about the impact education has on business, communities and the economy,” Newcomb said.


The Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership is a statewide program that honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state’s technical college students. Local GOAL winners are selected at each of the state’s other technical colleges as well as the two Board of Regents colleges with technical education divisions.

Hamilton, who is studying to be a Physical Therapist Assistant and was nominated by CTC instructor Stephanie Puffer, was ultimately selected as the GOAL winner for her dedication to academic excellence and leadership. The path that led Hamilton to Chattahoochee Technical College is a compelling story – one that shows commitment, drive and strength.

“The ability to read common words such as “and” and “the” is easy for most elementary school kids, but, for me, reading these words was my greatest struggle. In the third grade, I was diagnosed with a severe form of dyslexia,” she said. “The following years included many hours of hard work and frustration.”

When people close to Hamilton told her that she wasn’t college material, she was determined to prove them wrong. With much resolve, Hamilton continued to make educational gains and was eventually recruited to play Division I basketball out of high school. However, the physical demand of collegiate basketball took a toll on her body, and after four knee surgeries, Hamilton became interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy.

“My bachelor’s degree was not sufficient for this highly desirable field,” she said. “I began researching accredited technical college programs, looking for a school that provided hands-on training.”

She found Chattahoochee Tech.

“CTC’s Physical Therapist Assistant program has been one of the most satisfying endeavors I have ever participated in. Each day is full of specifics, and they provide us with cutting-edge knowledge and skills necessary to be successful,” she said. “Technical college is not a second choice; it’s an opportunity to make connections in your community, while getting an affordable education that will put you directly into a career path that will last a lifetime.”

Rick Perkins Award

The Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction began in 1991 and is designed to recognize and honor technical college instructors who make significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership in their fields.

Forrester, who is a biology instructor at the Canton Campus, was chosen as the Rick Perkins Award winner because of her significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Forrester quickly realized that she was far more interested in teaching than she was sitting at a microscope alone.

“I wanted to be the type of instructor who could challenge my students academically but also motivate them to achieve more than they ever thought possible. No place facilitates this type of teaching better than the Technical College System of Georgia,” she said. “We train our students’ minds to retain and apply vast quantities of information; we train their hands to operate equipment, treat the sick and care for the injured.”

Technical college students earn degrees, diplomas and certificates, but more importantly, they obtain essential skills to enter the workforce.

“I am so proud to be a part of it,” Forrester said.


 The Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education program celebrates adult learners in pursuit of excellence. The program recognizes and honors students who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in statewide adult education classes. The concept of EAGLE is one designed to create a greater awareness of educational opportunities that are available in local communities across the state and to foster involvement in lifelong learning pursuits.

Adult Education teachers in public, private and grantee agencies nominate students at the local program level to participate in the EAGLE recognition program at the state level. Selection criteria include student character, attitude, attendance, leadership and community involvement and activities. From this group, one student is selected to represent the local program at the state EAGLE Leadership Institute.

Newsome, of Acworth, enrolled in Chattahoochee Technical College’s Adult Education program in 2015 in order to provide a better life for her daughters. She plans to earn a diploma in Cosmetology and an associate degree in Business Management from Chattahoochee Technical College. Afterwards, Newsome hopes to transfer to a four-year university, where she will complete her degree in Psychology to one day become a mental health counselor.

“I want to work with disadvantaged families who struggle with all aspects of raising a special needs child. I have extensive experience in this area, and I feel that I can be an asset to those who are beginning this journey,” she said, adding that Chattahoochee Tech has changed her life for the better. “The Adult Education program at CTC has helped me to see the light to continue my dreams, given the many obstacles along the way. It taught me perseverance. I now have confidence that I am able to learn and be a role model.”

House Sends Pro-life Appreciation Letter to President Trump

Today, Congressman Doug Collins joined more than one-hundred fellow representatives in appreciation of President Donald Trump’s shared commitment to enacting policies that value and protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers.

“From supporting the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act to his promise to nominate pro-life Supreme Court Justices, the president is standing with the most vulnerable Americans. With a pro-life majority in Congress, we have a rare and weighty opportunity to establish lasting safeguards for young lives across our nation—to leave a legacy of life and respect for generations of Americans to come,” said Congressman Collins.