The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Arts and Letters is mourning the passing of Dr. Karen Austin, Professor Emerita of Spanish, who died Oct. 31. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.
Austin joined the Southern Miss faculty in 1971. She was the recipient of the university’s Excellence in Teaching, Excellence in Service, and Outstanding University Professor honors during her 40-year career at the institution.
“All of us in the department certainly mourn the loss, but we also celebrate the life of Dr. Karen Austin. Her contributions as a professor to the university and passion for teaching students are but a small part of her legacy,” said Dr. Leah Fonder-Solano, chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
Austin received her B.A. in Spanish and French from Agnes Scott College, her M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College and her Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Kentucky. She worked in Georgia for the government’s FLETC program of intensive Spanish for law enforcement, was instrumental in starting the department’s study abroad program, and served for a year as Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, England, where she also taught translation. She was an ATA certified translator for more than 35 years.
Among her publications is the translation of the Flores Estevez novel, La Historia de Adriana y los diálogos de Montenegro, and translations of four Pérez Galdós novels: Angel Guerra, La Sombra, Realidad, and La Incógnita.