Melinda Mechur Karp, Ph.D.

Founder + Principal, Phase Two Advisory

Bio: Melinda M. Karp

Dr. Melinda Mechur Karp is a nationally recognized expert on improving students’ transitions to college and supporting them once there. She founded Phase Two Advisory after nearly twenty years conducting research and working with colleges on education reform as Assistant Director at the Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University. The proud granddaughter of refugees, Melinda works with national and institutional leaders, campus-based faculty and staff, and philanthropists to ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to realize the intergenerational mobility higher education provides. She frequently writes, speaks, and comments on education reform at professional meetings, in the media, and in academic forums.

Melinda holds a BS in human development and family studies from Cornell University; and both an MA and a PhD in sociology and education from Columbia University. She chairs the Effective Advising Practice Guide Panel for the Institute on Education Science’s What Works Clearinghouse, and she is a member of the inaugural editorial team for the Journal of Postsecondary Student Success.

Speaker Travels From


Melinda is available for in-person and virtual engagements! Contact us today.

Speaker Topics

First-generation students in the community college

Explore the ways that community college contexts and reform efforts support the success of first-generation students.

Intentional Universal Design for first-generation students

Explore the way that engaging in Intentional Universal Design can support scaled reforms that center the experiences, needs, and strengths of first-generation students.

The transformative change framework

Using the Transformative Change Framework, identify strategies that comprehensively shift campus structures and norms to better support first-generation students on your campus.

Designing with intentionality

Colleges use Phase Two’s Research-to-Action model to guide intentional program development and implementation; learn how to apply the model to your first-generation program efforts.

Practical strategies for designing with equity at the center

Designing with equity means identifying barriers at the outset in order to mitigate them later on. Learn practical approaches to identifying those barriers to launch your equity-forward design.

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