In celebration of the 20th annual Student Research Week (March 27-31) at Texas A&M University, the College of Science is taking five with five different people involved in various aspects and stages of innovative research at Texas A&M and beyond. Today's concluding segment features Karen L. Richards, who earned her bachelor's degree in applied mathematical sciences from Texas A&M in 1992.

Richards, who currently serves as chair of the College of Science External Advisory and Development Council, is president and CEO of Fidelis Companies LLC, a certified woman-owned business based in Plano, Texas, that she founded in 1996. Fidelis offers specialized recruiting and consulting within the areas of ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems, biopharmaceuticals and engineering offering both contract and direct hire services. The firm's umbrella includes Fidelis Information Technology, Fidelis BioPharm, and Fidelis Engineering.

Richards says she sees technical recruiting as the perfect way to leverage her inquisitive and analytical mind with her exuberant and enthusiastic personality. Beyond being a business owner and a Certified Employee Retention Specialist (CERS), Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) and Certified Temporary-Staffing Specialist (CTS), she is a mom to three boys and coaches Little League while also volunteering with youth and various non-profit organizations.

In addition to the EADC, Richards is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management - DFW Staffing Management Associate, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Women's Business Counsel as well as a board member of the National Association of Personnel Services and Metroplex Association of Personnel Consultants.

We caught up with Richards last spring just as she was set to assume the EADC reins to get her thoughts on her time in Aggieland and the value of a Texas A&M Science degree while filming for our 2016 "Learn From The Best" and "I Chose Texas A&M Science" video campaigns.

Why did you choose to earn your degree with the College of Science?
"I chose Texas A&M Science because I knew it would allow me to be successful in whatever I chose to do with my degree."

What attracted you to mathematics?
"I loved all of my math classes -- loved them. I looked into the program, and everybody that I spoke to was so nice and so welcoming, it just made the decision easy."

In what ways did your experiences in the College of Science prepare you for the workforce?
"The College of Science prepared me to be able to understand a multitude of different careers, a multitude of different verticals within different markets. It's allowed me to grow a business in the STEM field."

Looking back on your time at Texas A&M, what did you enjoy most?
"I was the fourth of my four siblings to come to Texas A&M, so I started visiting campus when I was in middle school. When I got into high school, my mom and dad would actually put me on a bus from Houston to come to A&M and fall in love with this school.
Some of the things I always enjoyed about the university were the inclusion of everyone, the immense school pride and school spirit that I got to experience firsthand as a non-student."

Why should someone get their education at Texas A&M?
"It will allow students the opportunity to be a part of something way bigger than themselves. No matter where you go in the world, you can find an Aggie, and Aggies help Aggies all the time."

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Now in its 20th year, Student Research Week is a friendly competition that highlights both undergraduate and graduate research at Texas A&M, one of the country's top research universities. The weeklong celebration fosters an environment for students, faculty and administrators to learn about student research at Texas A&M and also gives students an opportunity to win numerous awards and cash prizes. To learn more about the week's schedule and specific events, see this recent feature article or go to http://srw.tamu.edu/.

For more information on getting involved in and supporting teaching, research, service and educational outreach activities in the College of Science, go to http://www.science.tamu.edu/giving/.


Contact: Chris Jarvis, (979) 845-7246 or cjarvis@science.tamu.edu

Jarvis Chris

  • Karen L. Richards '92

    (Credit: Karen L. Richards / Fidelis Companies, LLC.)

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