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Profile for Aleisha Karjala

Councilmember Aleisha KarjalaCouncilmember Aleisha Karjala has lived in Norman for almost 20 years. She and her son may be newer Sooners, but their family ties go back a few generations to southwestern Oklahoma. Indeed, family is what brought her here from California, as she was looking for a more family-oriented place to raise her son, Alec. Aleisha earned her BA and PhD in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma, while Alec took art classes at the Firehouse Art Center, played basketball with Optimist, and spent most of his time as a soccer player with NYSA playing Celtic soccer. Alec graduated from Norman schools and recently graduated with his Bachelors Degree from Colorado College, where he was a Varsity Soccer player for four years. He is now working with AmeriCorps in a school in inner city Denver.

Ward Two includes the area east of I-35 between Robinson Street and the southern Norman limits, east on Robinson Street to 24th Avenue N.W. and south to Dakota and borders Berry Road on the east from Denison Street to Imhoff Road and south of Imhoff Road the eastern boundary is Chautauqua Avenue. Since the recent reapportionment of wards, her ward now includes approximately the south half of the section north of Main Street between I-35 and Berry Road with Dakota, Iowa and Denison being the northern boundary.

Councilmember Karjala took a teaching position at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha so that her family could stay in Norman. She is a one-person political science department and loves her small classes. Aleisha is an award-winning professor. She was named a DaVinci Scholar in 2014 for her innovation in the classroom and won her campus' Regents Superior Teaching Award in 2015.

After Alec left for college, Aleisha wanted to give back to the community she loves, and her first opportunity was on the Library Board, where she served as Vice Chair. That brings her to City Council where she is proud to represent Ward 2.

Councilmember Karjala serves on the Community Planning and Transportation Committee and the Oversight Committee.  She also serves as as Council's respresentative to the School Citizens Advisory Committee.