Counselor; Assistant Professor
Karen Torraca joined the faculty at Houghton in the fall of 2007 after working as a senior research scientist at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis for five and a half years. She holds a BS in chemistry from Houghton College and the PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Florida. She also has held a NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship at MIT with Prof. Stephen Buchwald, researching palladium-catalyzed carbon-oxygen bond formation. As a result of her diverse experiences in academia and the pharmaceutical industry, she has developed an interest in researching environmentally-friendly synthetic organic methodologies which can be applied to the synthesis of active pharmaceutical compounds at large scale.Nancy is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). She has worked for 25 years at Houghton College as a half-time counselor in the Counseling Office and has also served as the Director of Student Programs in the Office of Student Life and the Title IX Coordinator. Nancy approaches her counseling work through a developmental lens, supporting students as they gain both competence and confidence in establishing healthy relationships, managing emotions, successfully navigating the academic and social challenges of college, and forging their identities as young adults. She uses a variety of therapeutic perspectives to guide her work with students, including family systems, cognitive-behavioral and existential. In addition to providing counseling for individual students, she has facilitated a variety of supportive groups, including those for students experiencing grief and for student survivors of childhood sexual abuse, as well as psychoeducational seminars on the management of anxiety.
- M.A., Ohio State University (1982)
- B.A., Mount Vernon Nazarene College (1980)