Atascadero woman honored with University of Minnesota Alumni Award • Atascadero News
Reed was the first African-American woman hired as a program director at Atascadero State Hospital
ATASCADERO — Karen J. Reed of Atascadero received the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Alumni Award on May 21.
Reed received the award at an event held at University Hall at the McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis. CLA Dean John J. Coleman presented this special recognition. The CLA Alumni of Notable Achievement (ANA) program was established in 1994 as part of the university’s 125th anniversary to celebrate and honor the significant achievements and contributions of its alumni.
Of the more than 179,000 college graduates, approximately 1% are selected as recipients of the award. Reed was selected because of her leadership, professionalism in the community, music (excelling in music therapy using gospel music), and evangelism (in the United States and Chile). She received a specially designed engraved plaque, certificate and CLA gift bag.
Professionally, Reed in August 2021 became the first African American woman to be hired as a program director at Atascadero State Hospital, where she manages seven units treating mentally ill offenders, convicted of insanity and unfit to stand trial.
Previously, Reed was program director at the Coalinga Department of State Hospitals, working with sexually violent predators and mentally ill offenders and received the DSH Sacramento Innovator of the Year Award, Supervisor of the Month , and has been recognized by the Western Region American Music Therapy Association. highest honour, the Betty Isern Howery Award.
Although Reed was a manager at DSH for 15 years, she continued music therapy treatment groups and gained recognition for the use of Gospel music. Reed is the author of “Music Is Master Key,” which outlines the benefits of music therapy, and has written on the subject in the “Music Perspective journal and Multicultural Intersections: Music, Health, and the Person.” Most recently, it was published in the 2020-2021 COGIC Annual Commentary for Sunday School. Reed has received numerous accolades for his church ministry, community work, and professional organizations.