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Karen Yu, Ph.D.

Karen Yu is inspired by the possibilities and potential of each person, place, and thing. That’s what explains in part her love of weddings, children, commencements, introducing and connecting people, and interacting with students.


Dr. Yu earned her B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from MIT and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Vanderbilt University. Among other things, she is a daughter, sister, spouse, and parent, and a professor of psychology at Sewanee: The University of the South, where many of her efforts have been guided by student interests. Her current scholarship focuses on the possibilities inherent in the option generation phase of decision making.


She co-authors the blog “Choice Matters” at Psychology Today, and is contemplating a cognitively kind book on cognitive kindness. In addition to possibilities and potential, she also loves peach pie, peonies, and people who truly listen.

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