Katharine A. Owens

Katharine A. Owens headshot

Chair, Department of Politics, Economics, and International Studies; Director, Rell Center for Public Service; Professor Politics, Economics, and International Studies

Politics, Economics, and International Studies

College of Arts and Sciences
860.768.5492 Hillyer 126-D

PhD, University of Twente

MS, College of Charleston

BA, College of Charleston

Professor Owens is a National Geographic Explorer and Fulbright-Nehru Scholar who is interested in civic engagement, in the way humans impact water resources, and how the arts are used to address political and environmental problems.

She works with students on a variety of service- and applied-learning projects to address real-world challenges.  In many courses, her students tackle complex economic, public, and environmental policy problems.

Via support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Prevention through Education and Outreach Program, her students collected marine debris on Connecticut shorelines and shared the results with the Connecticut General Assembly Environmental Committee.

Through the ENACT (Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation) program of Brandeis’ International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, her students advocate for policy in the Connecticut General Assembly.

Through funding from the Stevens’ Initiative, her introductory American Government students collaborated with students from partner institutions in the Middle East to share (through comics and podcasts) about our political system.  

She received a 2018-19 Fulbright Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award, spending the spring semester of 2019 teaching and researching marine plastic pollution at the University of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram, India. 

With researchers from the University of Kerala, she received a National Geographic Explorer grant to lead a workshop on marine litter for educators and NGOs in June of 2019.

Working with researchers from Indonesia and Uganda, she received a National Geographic Society Collaboration Grant to explore plastic pollution on rivers in the United States, Indonesia, and Uganda.

Katharine Owens is also an artist whose work has been shown in galleries and museums around the country.