Kara Blackwood Keen
Graduate Program Manager & Academic Advisor
Kara Blackwood Keen, Graduate Admissions for the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, joined the University of Memphis with a background of over thirty years in social services. In Chicago with Challenger Gray and Christmas, Ms. Keen traveled forty six weeks out of each year, providing on-site career counseling to client companies including IBM and John Deere. Ms. Keen returned to Memphis for work in the medical field as Hospital Development Manager in human tissue donation. She worked closely with donating families, both during the time of procurement at the hospital with legal explanation, gaining consent and documentation, to facilitating grief counseling. Her experience with Memphis business also includes Senior Import Coordinator at FedEx Trade Networks, clearing shipments in transit for IBM and Lenovo before entry into the territory of United States airspace.
Ms. Keen first experienced the therapeutic impact of music as Case Manager of Labor at the Neumann Center to Support the Independence of Specific Populations in Chicago. While searching for solutions within a variety of placements for clients including Hart Schaffner & Marx, she discovered music strongly helped participants to maintain calm and focus while assimilating into real world workplaces. Ms. Keen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.