From Broward College Student to Associate Vice President- Karen Lee Murphy

January 23, 2018 | More People

When it comes to Broward College, Karen Lee Murphy is a wealth of knowledge. In her demanding role as associate vice president of Academic Affairs and College Registrar, she moves from campus to campus nearly every day, attending committee meetings and working collaboratively with several departments. Murphy is responsible for student registration scheduling and record-keeping. She also ensures that the College complies with regulations of privacy when handling student information.

Woman poses for the camera wearing business atireHer position is important but what makes Murphy so interesting is the journey that got her here. She joined the College as an international student from Jamaica in January 1989— the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship. Just two months after arriving on the Judson A. Samuels South campus, she began working in the Experiential Learning department. Two years later, she transferred to the downtown campus, working part-time in the Registrar’s office, focusing on international students. “It was interesting as I moved around the office, to learn the different aspects of student records, how we process incoming and outgoing transcripts,” says Murphy. “I became fascinated with all of it, and now I lead it, so my journey has come full circle.”

The journey hasn’t always been easy. Murphy completed her Associate of Arts degree at Broward College and earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida International University. After graduation, she began working full-time at Broward College as an administrative assistant to the Associate Registrar. From there, she attended graduate school at Florida Atlantic University for a master’s degree in Public Administration. “I worked full time, I went to school full time, and I had a young family,” she says. “My daughter was not even a year old when I started grad school. It was challenging. I had to learn to balance and juggle all facets of my life. I had a lot of help from my husband, my parents, and my in-laws.”

Murphy says her favorite part of her job is graduation. “My love for students walking across that stage, celebrating their accomplishment, is second to none,” she says. “To see the students celebrating with their families, known they’ve gone through the ups and downs of enrolling in school, while life is happening—that’s what I love!”

Murphy is pleasantly surprised when reminded that next year will be her thirtieth at the College. “I’m only 36!” she jokes. Those years of experience and the various roles she has worked in have given her a 360-degree view of student life. She has no regrets for starting her academic pursuits at Broward College and thinks it has fully prepared her for her role.

She prides herself on using all of that knowledge to help solve problems. “I always look for solutions for the betterment of our students. When I find a pocket, and there’s a gap, I look for ways to close that gap.” Murphy looks forward to the challenges and changes the future will bring – saying adapting to change is a part of her job as Registrar. “I think my journey prepared me and it was the best teacher. I’m still learning.”

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