Karna Walter, PhD

Director, Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships
Assistant Dean, Student Engagement, W.A. Franke Honors College
karna walter

Honors Village, 1101 East Mabel Street, Tucson, AZ 85719

Karna Walter heads the Student Engagement Team at the W.A. Franke Honors College. She is dedicated to bolstering the support structure for Franke students across various facets, notably internal and external scholarships, research, and professional growth.

Throughout her tenure in Franke, Dr. Walter has played a pivotal role in conceiving and nurturing diverse initiatives aimed at enriching the undergraduate Franke Honors experience. She supervises initiatives to foster and involve scholar groups within the Honors College, including pioneering the W.A. Franke Scholars program. Dr. Walter and her team diligently connect all Franke Honors students with an array of funding opportunities to facilitate research, professional development, study abroad endeavors, and similar pursuits.

Additionally, she leads the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships, which aids students poised to vie for prestigious accolades such as the Fulbright, Goldwater, Churchill, Truman, and Rhodes scholarships. Collaborating with campus peers, Dr. Walter ensures that eligible students receive tailored guidance and assistance at opportune moments to excel in these competitions.

Driven by a passion to encourage critical thinking among students regarding contemporary challenges demanding interdisciplinary and collaborative solutions, Dr. Walter conceived and manages the Big Ideas, Grand Challenges Series, featuring expert panels discussing complex issues.

An avid educator, she frequently conducts one-credit seminars on eliminating human trafficking and another seminar centered on the Big Ideas Series.

Dr. Walter's academic journey began with a B.A. in English from Calvin College, followed by her pursuit of a Ph.D. in Higher Education at the University of Arizona. Spending time with Dr. Walter unveils her proud Iowa roots and her fervent enthusiasm for sports and literature. Embracing a Ted Lasso-esque curiosity over judgment, she embodies a relentless quest to explore the world around her.


  • PhD, Higher Education, The University of Arizona
  • BA, English, Calvin University