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Chelsea O'Neil Karcher

Assistant Director

Assistant Director


  • Where do you call home?
    • Wherever I'm with the ones I love. I currently live on the North Side of Chicago with my partner and our pets.
  • What do you do at Northwestern?
    • I am one of the Assistant Directors of Social Justice Education. I am primarily responsible for managing the Sustained Dialogue program, facilitating workshops, and creating opportunities for learning and engagement related to social justice for Northwestern.
  • What groups/committees/communities are you a part of at NU?
    • I started at Northwestern in Winter 2020 so I am still building connections at NU. I am most connected to my colleagues within Campus Inclusion and Community (CIC), together we work to create spaces where students of all identities and lived experiences can thrive at Northwestern.
  • What are you passionate about?
    • I'm passionate about creating a world free of violence and suffering and the deep, transformative, and collaborative work that will need to happen in order to get there. I'm also lucky enough to be an Auntie to several amazing tiny humans...so much of what I do is in service to their futures.
  • What are some moments/accomplishments/projects you have been proud of?
    • Before coming to Northwestern I co-founded the first LGBTQ counseling center in the state of Wisconsin. There I was a practicing art therapist, full spectrum birth doula, and social justice educator. I worked to provide direct care services and shift culture so LGBTQ people of all ages and identities could thrive.
    • Most of my proudest moments have happened in intimate moments of healing and transformation as I have worked alongside clients and students to heal, fulfill their desires, advocate for change, and live more authentically.
  • Where can you be found around campus?
    • If I'm not in Scott Hall, I like to find time to be outside by the water.
  • What do you like to do in your spare time?
    • Baking elaborate cakes with unique flavors and designs, listening to True Crime podcasts, creating or supporting community organizing/service projects, Reading non-fiction (especially memoirs), playing Animal Crossing, going to the beach or traveling to a place I've never been, watching thrillers and comedies on Netflix, researching new DIY projects, making art, and snuggling with my animals.
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