If you are Karen Li, please join here and update your profile!

Karen Li Simpkins

Profile Updated: September 12, 2012
Karen Li Simpkins
Residing In: Huntington, WV USA

Karen Li Simpkins
230 Bradley Foster Drive, Apt. 369
Huntington, WV 25701
Ph: 304-972-4211

I was so self-conscious about my face during my high school years, I wasn’t involved in many extra-curricular activities. My final therapeutic surgery took place in the summer between my frosh and soph years at Marshall University. When I spent my junior year abroad at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, I discovered just how face-focused our culture really is.

After I learned that American University of Beirut was considered equivalent to the top European universities, I decided to remain there for my senior year as well. I finished in four years only because I endured one awful semester in which I carried 27 hours. I missed the upheaval of the school shutting down the following year for the Six-Day War, which would have really extended my undergrad years. During my time there, term breaks were one-month long, which allowed me to travel in a number of Eastern Mediterranean/Middle Eastern countries

Returning to the U.S., I attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where I received my M.A. degree. I shifted my focus from medical social work to anthropology.

I earned my Ph.D. from Edinburgh University in Scotland. For them, West Virginia, where I conducted my fieldwork, was considered to be an exotic locale. I was also fortunate to have a year off at this time to work at Aarhus University in Denmark, where I was able to undertake a little more travel.

Month-long breaks were no vacation, however – school assignments were always part of the bargain at both the undergrad and graduate levels.

Fortunately, I was able to remain at one place (Marshall University) for my 30-year teaching career. During this time, I did three medical People-to-People Ambassador visits: one to Russia during the perestroika years, one to Cuba during the Clinton years, and one to Tibet, when the Chinese government first allowed it.

Now I am on “family time.” My mother has Alzheimer’s and my only niece has adjustments to make since her dad (my brother) passed away suddenly three years ago.

I am also involved with my two Balinese godsons’ lives. After our 50th reunion, I’ll meet up with my 3-year-old godson and his mother in Richmond, Virginia. From there, we’ll travel to Bali for a very important 5-day ceremony that he must go through before his 4th birthday at the end of October.

I am planning to attend our 50th reunion and look forward to seeing everyone.