KAREN L. RANCOURT, Ph.D., has enjoyed a rich and varied professional life. As a graduate of Boston University, she began her career in education as an elementary school teacher. After five years, she began teaching on the college level. Her courses were in human behavior, psychology, and child development, and led her to develop a research-based, practical, and theoretical basis for understanding how children and adults grow, develop, socialize, and build relation-ships.
When the Navy assigned her husband to teach at the United States Naval Academy, she took advantage of his posting to earn her Ph.D. in early childhood education and human behavior at the University of Maryland.
Dr. Rancourt then moved into management consulting, specializing in organizational development. In this role, she worked with executives and their organizations in numerous Fortune 100 corporations helping them with change management issues. Her clients included JPMorgan Chase & Co., International Business Machines (IBM), TIAA, Pfizer, Viacom, Inc., and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).
For several years she was also an adjunct associate professor at New York University, focusing on Social Sciences, Organizational Behavior and Communication. Segueing into career and life coaching, Dr. Rancourt helped hundreds of clients gain insight about what was professionally right for them and to make decisions and changes that supported their professional aspirations and personal life requirements.
In doing so, she used a variety of coaching techniques and strategies, as well as various assessment tools for which she is licensed to administer. These include Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®), a personality inventory, and the Neethling Brain Instruments (NBI™), used to assess thinking preferences.
In addition to IT’S ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS! New Ways to Make Them Healthy and Fulfilling, at Home and at Work, Dr. Rancourt authored Ask Dr. Gramma Karen: Helping Young Parents and Grandparents Deal with Thorny Issues and Ask Dr. Gramma Karen, Volume II: Savvy Advice to Soothe Parent-Grandparent Conflicts. Her first book on parenting (Yeah But, Children Need…) was followed by two books on professional productivity and effectiveness: The Empowered Professional: How to Be Successful in the 1990s, and Empowered Professionals: Making a Difference.
Dr. Rancourt’s column, “Ask Dr. Gramma Karen,” provides advice for parents, grandparents, and grandchildren who are dealing with intergenerational issues. Beginning eight years ago, her column continues to be hosted by GRAND Magazine, a resource for grandparents who are committed to “Living the Ageless Life.”
For ten years, until 2021, when it was acquired by another media company, Dr. Rancourt’s column was also hosted by Mommybites, then a national online resource providing parents with education, information, and support.
Life At Home
Dr. Rancourt and her husband share their time between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the Jersey Shore, where, to the astonishment of many, they live with their daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons — yes, in the same house, and happily so.
On a personal note, one of Dr. Rancourt’s greatest sources of joy is being called “Gramma Karen” by scores of children and adults alike.
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