Capabilities NOT Disabilities

Carol Leish suffered severe injuries at one year old from an automobile accident due to a drunk driver. In this interview with Dr. Karen McGraa, Carol shares how she turned her disabilities into capabilities and became originator and owner of her educational game business that focuses on strengths and acceptance of differences. Carol gives advice to other entrepreneurs as well as to parents of children with disabilities from her personal experience.

About Karen McGraa

Karen McGraa, who holds a doctorate in media psychology from Fielding Graduate University, said that the new interactive media engages the participants rather than just their being a passive recipient of mass media messages. She holds multiple degrees in psychology, communications, radio, tv, film and broadcast journalism. She said, “I believe that the field of media psychology provides the tools to bring about social change and provide benefits for people, organizations and governments both locally and globally through more powerful knowledge of the potential of the new communications technology. My passion is teaching, writing and researching about these tools to increase a greater awareness of their usage and to encourage their positive applications.”

McGraa said her interest in media psychology has come full circle. Starting out with an undergraduate degree in psychology from California State University at Los Angeles, McGraa began her career as a caseworker for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and was involved in working with Jerry’s kids and clients at UCLA, USC Medical Center Oncology, and Rancho Los Amigos.

Working with one of the most successful fund raisers such as MDA, McGraa decided to pursue a second degree in communications, radio, TV, film and broadcast journalism. This led to her working at KTLA News and then becoming a city news editor. She has produced and directed news and documentaries for radio and cable as well as written her own scripts. By the time she was working on her Master’s degree in communications she and her husband had adopted three children. During this time she took a home course in interior design and upon earning a certificate created a 3-D Home Design business called Creative Concepts. While the children were in school she volunteered as an art and computer instructor. This lead to substitute teaching, adult education, and adjunct professor positions at DeVry and Cal State University at Northridge. When she learned of a doctorate in media psychology at Fielding, it seemed the perfect fit.  She served as Director of Networking for the Ventura County Professional Women’s Network.

Karen was also the Host of VCPWN Radio on WomensRadio. Women’s Insider Network to help listeners experience firsthand a sense of personal and professional growth from a diverse group of professionals eager to share.

Dr. McGraa  presently teaches media psychology, psychology and communications courses for the University of Phoenix and the University of La Verne.