Karen Rattenborg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) at Colorado State University and the Executive Director of the CSU Early Childhood Center (ECC), a laboratory school with a three-fold mission of teaching, research, and service. Dr. Rattenborg is responsible for all aspects of the ECC’s charge to train CSU students for careers in the field of early childhood; promote opportunities for research related to children, families, and early childhood education; and provide a developmentally appropriate Reggio Emilia-inspired education for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years.
Karen has three degrees from Colorado State University, where she earned her B.S. and M.S. in HDFS and her Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies. She began teaching at CSU in 1992 and has taught over 60 sections of HDFS and Education courses including lifespan development, child development, internship, practicum, professional skill development, and grant writing. Before becoming the executive director of the ECC, Karen was an Assistant Professor in CSU’s teacher licensure program and also served as the Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising and Experiential Learning in the HDFS Department.
Karen feels passionately about the importance of the first five years of life. This passion leads her to work tirelessly to promote optimal environments and experiences for young children in the context of her commitment to preparing dedicated, competent teachers who have a deep understanding of child development and are well-equipped to meet the needs of children and their families.
Karen and her husband Greg met as undergraduates at CSU and have two adult daughters, one of whom is a SAS alum from the Spring 2015 voyage. In their spare time they enjoy the benefits of living in Colorado including skiing/snowboarding, hiking, and playing golf.