ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands – Dr. Karen M. Carty has been named the Director of Athletics at the University of the Virgin Islands. Dr. Carty becomes the first female athletics director in UVI’s 61-year history.
“I am personally excited to have Dr. Carty join the University and lead our Athletics Department. She brings a wealth of experience and an authentic connection to the Virgin Islands, and the University,” said Dr. David Hall, UVI President. “She is just what we need to expand and improve athletics at UVI. As we join a new conference in the NAIA, Dr. Carty is just the type of leader to take us to the next level of competitiveness.”
Dr. Carty is an award-winning, innovative communications and marketing professional with 19 years of experience in public relations, communications, sports marketing, sports administration, branding, social media management, content creation, event planning, fundraising, and leadership.
“We are pleased to have Dr. Carty join the UVI family. As a native Virgin Islander, and our first woman athletics director, I am looking forward to the impact that she will have on athletics in the territory,” said Dr. Camille A. McKayle, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at UVI. “Dr. Carty has the opportunity to build on a sound base that brought UVI to the point where we are in the NAIA and part of the Gulf Coast Athletics Conference, which is an HBCU conference. With her background at HBCUs including Grambling, South Carolina State, and Norfolk State, and leadership roles at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), we know that she is the right leader for UVI athletics at this time. We are delighted to have Dr. Carty at UVI and look forward to the growth of UVI athletics.”
Dr. Carty has a long history working at HBCUs. She spent two years as the Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Communications at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), after joining the league office in July 2021. She served as the conference’s primary media contact for football, men’s basketball, and softball, as well as Commissioner requests and broadcast initiatives. She was also an executive producer with the MEAC Digital Network.
“I am thankful to President Hall, Provost McKayle, Interim AD Pole, and the search committee for selecting me to be the next Director of Athletics at the University of the Virgin Islands,” Dr. Carty said. “To be the first female AD at UVI is a major accomplishment, but what is even more special to me is that I get to serve in a leadership position on the campuses where my parents attended college. UVI has been in my blood since I was born, and I look forward to working hard to usher UVI Athletics into a new era of success.”
In 2021, Dr. Carty spearheaded the creation of MEAC Countdown to Kickoff, presented by Coca-Cola, the conference’s football pregame show that aired on ESPN+. The first episode aired on October 16, 2021, from the campus of South Carolina State University and marked the first time an NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conference produced its own pregame show. Season One of Countdown featured three episodes that highlighted the athletic and academic excellence of the MEAC institutions.
Prior to joining the MEAC, Dr. Carty spent two years at Bradley University as the Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing, Fan Engagement, and Diversity Initiatives.
Dr. Carty joined Bradley from HBCU Grambling State University, where she served as Assistant Athletics Director for Media, Marketing, and Promotions from April 2017 to July 2019. Prior to her appointment at Grambling State, Dr. Carty worked in the HBCU South Carolina State athletics department from 2014-17. She served as the Director of Marketing while also handling media relations for volleyball, women’s soccer, women’s basketball, and softball.
Before going to South Carolina State, Dr. Carty spent three and a half years as the Sports Information Director at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC). Prior to BCCC, Dr. Carty spent six years in the sports information office at Norfolk State.
Dr. Carty graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in general business with an emphasis in marketing from HBCU Norfolk State in 2004. She was a member of the women’s tennis team and was named to the 2004 MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic Team. She is also a lifetime member of Golden Key International Honour Society and Beta Gamma Sigma, an honor society for business majors. She earned her master’s degree in sports management from the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Ala. in 2009. She earned a Doctor of Education degree in higher education administration from Bradley University in May 2023.
Dr. Carty was a participant in the NCAA’s 2019 Leadership Education Series in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was also the 2021 recipient of the Rudy Keeling Postgraduate Scholarship, given annually by the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA). Dr. Carty currently holds membership in MOAA and the Black College Sports Information Directors Association (BCSIDA).