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UW System 2022

Dr. P.B. Poorman Award for Outstanding 
Achievement on behalf of LGBTQ+ People

Kiersten Karlen

For the past five years Bloechl-Karlsen has served as an assistant dean of students at UW Oshkosh with a primary role in overseeing the Accessibility Center on all three campuses. She began her journey as a student, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2005 and a master’s in educational leadership and policy in 2019. 

Bloechl-Karlsen previously served as an administrator and corporate trainer for assisted living facilities. She became a content expert in inclusive language, trauma-informed care, crisis prevention and mental health education and awareness. For years she facilitated conversations about the impact of advocacy and system support for individuals living in the intersections of race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity and ability. She brought these skills and knowledge to UWO, where she has been able to advocate for LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities and those who identify in the intersection of these identities. As a lifelong learner and advocate, she is motivated to continue to support policy change, strategic planning and the creation of new inclusion efforts at UWO and in the surrounding community.