Riley, Karen S, Ph.D.


Dean's Office/ School Psychology

303-871-3665, KRH 326

Professor Karen Riley is the Dean of the Morgridge College of Education (MCE). She is an internationally recognized expert in neurodevelopmental disorders, and her scholarship focuses on interdisciplinary and intersystem approaches to addressing the complex issues of today’s society and improving the lives of children and families effected by fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome. Dr. Riley's prior research has focused on educational and behavioral interventions and outcome measures related to targeted treatments. She has authored or co-authored more than 50 book chapters, clinical guidelines, journal articles, and has over 150 national and international conference presentations. She has served as the PI (Principal Investigator) or CO-PI (Co-Principal Investigator) on research grants exceeding $5.8 million from funders including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), National Institute of Health, and Institute for Educational Sciences. As a leader in the community and within the field of education, Dr. Riley serves on several boards and community committees. These include the Colorado Center for Rural Education, Mayor’s Education Compact, National Fragile X Clinical and Scientific Advisory Council, Center for Disease Control Outcome Measures Advisory Committee, Denver Museum of Nature and Science Sticky Issues Task Force, and Colorado Department of Education Educator Preparation Program Advisory Committee. Dr. Riley holds an MA in Early Childhood Special Education and a PhD in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Child and Family Studies from MCE at the University of Denver and a BS in Psychology from Colorado State University. She was the recipient of the FRAXA Post-Doctoral Fellowship at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, and has received numerous awards including the National Fragile X Foundation Clinical Award for Translational Research (2018), National Fragile X Foundation Outstanding Service Award (2010), and the DU Academic Spotlight Honoree (2012). Dr. Riley started her career at Adams County School District 12. Following her post-doc she worked at The Children’s Hospital, rejoined her alma mater in 2004 as an Assistant Professor, and assumed the role of Dean in 2013. Academic and Research Interests

  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Cognitive measures
  • Interdisciplinary and intersystem approaches to complex societal issues
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Educational and mental health issues in rural communities
For more information about Dr.Karen Riley, view her Portfolio.

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