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Who is Karla?

Karla Krodel has worked with people in under-resourced environments since 1980. Beginning her professional practice as a registered nurse in South Carolina, she worked with women in poverty in public prenatal clinics and lead-poisoning prevention programs. Later, in Ohio, she worked at public health clinics and eventually transitioned to the Center for Urban Studies at Youngstown State University (YSU). As a senior research associate at YSU, her work focused on building strategic partnerships between the institution and community partners, usually focused on some aspect of poverty. She founded the first healthcare industry cluster in the country and began focusing on issues experienced by low-wage, low-skill healthcare workers. She now runs the Metro Credit Education and Outreach Office at YSU and administers several programs targeting under-resourced populations, including first-generation, low-income students and students who are incarcerated. Through aha! Process Karla provides training and consulting services for Understanding and Engaging Under-Resourced College Students and Investigations into Economic Class in America.An experienced consultant and author, Karla has been with aha! Process since 2008.

Karla’s credentials


  • MBA, Kent State University
  • BSN, University of Pittsburgh

Work history

  • Adjunct Instructor, College of Health and Human Services, Youngstown State University
  • Director, Metro Credit Education and Outreach Department, Youngstown State University


  • Understanding and Engaging Under-Resourced College Students, aha! Process, 2008
  • Investigations into Economic Class in America, aha! Process, 2009
  • Facilitator Notes for Investigations into Economic Class in America, aha! Process, 2009

Karla’s aha! moment

I was researching for a grant concerning cultural competency in Appalachian mental health care, and a counselor said, “Appalachian culture and all that’s fine, but if you don’t understand poverty, you’re not going to do us any good. Read this,” and handed me Framework. My entire life and work experience shifted, even my understanding of my husband’s family. So many things I had always known took a totally different shape, and it’s never been the same since. (And we got the grant!)

Karla’s passions?

As faculty advisor I love working with the college students in the Bridges Out of Poverty Student Union at YSU and watching the knowledge they acquire through the Investigations course transform into power and the desire and ability to effect systemic change at this university.

Karla’s best training

My favorite moments during college workshops occur when under-resourced students are included in the audience. I love to hear their stories and how happy they are that the faculty and staff are being exposed to this knowledge.

What does Karla do for fun?

Karla and her husband, Craig, live on a small farm with five horses, innumerable cats, and two good dogs. Karla has a lifelong passion for horses, and while her hooved friends are pretty old now, they still listen and don’t tell tales. Traveling just about anywhere, especially Europe, is another favorite thing.