Dr. Karen O'Neill Lacey

Associate Professor Emerita of English
Department of Liberal Studies


  • B.A., English, Georgia State University, 1988
  • M.T.S., Emory University, 1991,
  • Ph.D., English Literature with Certification in Women’s Studies, Emory University, 2000

Dr. Karen O’Neill Lacey joined the faculty of the College of Professional Advancement in 2004. She earned a B.A. in English from Georgia State University in 1988, magna cum laude, Phi Kappa Phi; a Master of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Emory University in 1991, magna cum laude, full scholarship; and a Ph.D. in English Literature with Certification in Women’s Studies from Emory University in 2000.

From 2000 through 2004, she taught English to eighth graders in rural Pike County’s Middle School. Before beginning her academic work, she served as liturgist, musician, and choir director at Sacred Heart Church in Griffin and Smyrna Presbyterian Church in Conyers.

Dr. Lacey’s primary and coveted work includes teaching English literature and writing, all Liberal Studies courses, especially Women’s and Gender Studies, and advising students. A Mercer University Commons Fellow between 2005 and 2007, the College of Continuing and Professional Studies awarded her its Outstanding Faculty Member award in 2009. During that year, she presented a paper entitled “Reading Strategies for Writing Practice” at the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing Conference at Coventry University, England. Between 2009 and 2011, during her term as Academic Site Leader at the Henry County Regional Academic Center, she served the college on its Assessment and Planning Committee and represented it on the University General Education Committee and the University Communication Task Force.

In 2007, Dr. Lacey and two friends opened A Novel Experience, Bookstore on the Square, in Zebulon, Ga., which functions as a community resource. In her spare time, she works to improve literacy and writing in the county, facilitating a creative writing and a classic books group. She also occasionally helps on the family farm, which produces hay, goats, and cattle in middle Georgia.

Research and professional interests

Literacy, writing, and classic books

Contact Dr. Lacey