A Tradition of Service

346 335 For Our Wellness

Service is practically coded in Dr. Karen Brown’s family’s DNA. The mother of six comes from a family with a long tradition of giving to country and community. Her father, now deceased, was a Sergeant First Class in the Army, her siblings were also members of the military, and her son served six years in the Air Force. And yes, her husband of 27 years proudly served his country as well.

“I have an older sister and a younger brother,” The Chicago School alum says. “My sister joined the Air Force and my brother joined the Army. I was the last to join, {and} met my husband while in the Army at Fort Lewis, WA. ”

She may have been the last sibling to sign up, but the need to contribute to society has always been with her, and she didn’t waste her time on meaningless pursuits before taking up the family mantle. After graduating college, she worked at the Oklahoma Medical School as a lab tech in physiology, working primarily with a neurophysiologist and assisting a renal physiologist and a cardio physiologist. She left it all behind and joined the Army, retiring after 26 years.

“I joined the military because it filled the need to continue to experience different cultures and simultaneously give back to my country,” explains Dr. Brown, who traveled a lot as a child. “I actually tried to be a Special Forces operative but in 1989 women weren’t allowed in combat jobs.”

Dr. Brown with five of her six children.

‘Settling’ for the role of combat medic, she undertook rigorous training that taught her how to ignore fear for her own safety, and go into the line of fire to protect and secure a patient. “The Army has found that we can reduce combat deaths by providing trauma care at the earliest opportunity, which is right on the battlefield.”

That kind of selfless attitude prompted her to retire in 2015. “I knew that in order for me to continue to impact lives, especially for those who have experienced multiple traumatic experiences, I had to get out of the Army.”

A graduate of the Online International Psychology Program, she is the co-founder of Linc International, an organization that uses the principles of international psychology (IP) to find innovative solutions to local and global challenges.

“IP … mirrored my life experiences,” she explains. “Traveling the world with my parents gave me an intense love of culture in all of its aspects. I enjoyed going to new places, meeting new people, indulging in their traditions, and embracing their culture. The world is a beautiful thing and to be immersed in it at such a young age completely molded my character and informed my perspective.”

She founded Linc International with Alyssa Benedict, Ph.D. (c), Joyce Green Ph.D. and DeAnza Spaulding, Ph.D. – all of whom studied international psychology at The Chicago School’s Online Campus. The tenets of international psychology include contextual relevance and cultural inclusivity, and practitioners are trained to address global issues and have a global perspective. Dr. Brown and her fellow founders wanted to bring this way of thinking to a wider audience.

Dr. Brown with sister Vivian Eddings, former Air Force Staff Sergeant.

She passionately believes that “Every organization, corporation, agency, and institution needs an international psychologist on their staff. I feel that strongly about the field of IP and I know that if we could take it out of the academic arena and integrate it into the world like a systems program for a computer, then we’ll see the world change for the better.”

She also endeavors to change things for the better in her personal life. She volunteers with a mentorship program for young women and girls, offering one-on-one counseling, and helping them navigate life’s challenges.

“I want women to feel empowered. I want them to know that life doesn’t have to just happen to them,” Dr. Brown explains.

As for the work of Linc International, she sums it up in one sentence, “We want to change the world one perspective at a time.”

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