Photo of Karen Barahona

Spanish Program Coordinator
Associate Professor
Ph.D., The University of Georgia

Karen Barahona

Photo of Karen BarahonaSpanish Program Coordinator
Associate Professor of Spanish

Ph.D., University of Georgia


(440) 826-5926,

Dr. Karen Barahona currently serves as the Spanish program coordinator at Baldwin Wallace University. She has shaped the language program to be forward-thinking and adaptive to the changing needs of students and created BW's "Spanish for the professions" minor.

Since 2012, Barahona has created and refined several service-learning projects to engage Spanish students in the Northeast Ohio community. These initiatives help students build social awareness, increase confidence in their language skills, and advance written translation competencies. In addition, she prepares students for their lives after college by teaching career development skills and equipping them with tools and techniques for job and internship searching.

As a result of her commitment to service-learning, Barahona received the 2017-2018 Baldwin Wallace Excellence in Community Engagement Faculty Award. This award distinguishes outstanding leadership by a professor who is advancing the BW mission of developing contributing and compassionate citizens through community-engaged teaching and learning. 

Barahona is the recipient of the 2019 Comunidad Oscar Arnulfo Romero Peace Mission Saint Romero Solidarity Award. The mission provides healthcare to poor, abused and abandoned children in El Salvador. The award spotlights individuals for their exceptional translation services.

Barahona's primary area of research is Latin American literature of the 20th and 21st centuries, with a focus on Central American women’s testimony and fiction. Whether in the classroom or directing student theses, research projects and honors courses, Barahona's work is infused with her goal of promoting the experiences of unheard and non-dominant individuals and groups in Latin America.