Shawn Karsten ’09
Meet Shawn Karsten ’09
Shawn Karsten has served as the Vice President for Advancement since 2018. In 2020, he assumed strategic leadership of the Marketing and Communications office and in 2022, the role of Chief of Staff was added to his responsibilities. In his role, Shawn oversees all aspects of Advancement, including Advancement Services, Communications and Public Relations, Constituent Engagement and Development. As Chief of Staff and a member of the Administrative Council, he works closely with the Board of Trustees and serves as a trusted advisor, key communicator and strategic partner for President Vickie Folse.
A 2009 Ripon alumnus, Shawn was a member of the men’s basketball team and a founding member of the nationally recognized Speaker’s Bureau, for which he received the 2008 Excellence in Leadership Award. He returned to Ripon College in 2014 as a major gift officer following five years as a self-employed professional speaker. During that time, he also co-authored two publications with Dr. Jody Roy, Professor of Communication: Breaking Through to Boys in Crisis: Insights from Inmates (2012) and Sharing Your Story, Saving Their Lives: Public Speaking for Ex-Offenders (2014).
When he isn’t in the office or on the road visiting with alumni and friends, Shawn is spending quality time with his wife, Carissa Karsten ‘10 and their three children – Evelina, Adler and Luther. He also enjoys being on the water, the golf course, and volunteering in the community as a board member at Ripon Education Foundation, Diverse Options Inc. and Ripon Main St.
What do you love most about Ripon College and your involvement here? The opportunity to play a small role in providing access to the transformative experiences that take place every day across campus. I was lucky enough to have Ripon in my life when I needed it most.
What advice would you give to a potential donor who is considering investing in Ripon? Reflect on the role that Ripon played in your life and trust that those experiences are still taking place here because of the generosity of 11,000+ alumni and friends.
Why do you think giving back is important to the advancement of Ripon and its students? Access and Impact. For over 170 years, Ripon graduates have walked across the steps of Harwood Memorial Union and into a world that has benefited from their experiences here on campus.