Charter's Karen Zumwalt wins Catherine Oakes Scholarship

Annual scholarship program, run through the SCTE Foundation and WICT, is named after Catherine Oakes, a long-time SCTE exec who died in 2013.

August 4, 2021

2 Min Read

EXTON, Pa. – The SCTE Foundation today announced Karen Zumwalt as the winner of the Catherine Oakes Memorial Leadership Scholarship for Women. A senior manager in network engineering for Charter Communications, Karen Zumwalt has established a reputation as an emerging leader in the cable industry. The Catherine Oakes Memorial Scholarship was established to recognize and reward women working in the industry's technical workforce, by enabling them to participate in industry leadership development or executive education programs.

"Karen Zumwalt embodies the legacy and high standards set by Catherine Oakes, who was a leader and mentor for women in the cable industry," said Yvette Kanouff, SCTE Foundation. "We are pleased to be able to recognize women in the industry who exemplify Catherine's leadership by supporting them in their career advancement."

A self-described data evangelist, Zumwalt's path to becoming an emerging leader in the telecommunications industry began with her first job as master scheduler at Kimberly-Clark. She joined Charter Communications in 2017 and, in her role as manager of NOC reporting and analytics at Charter, built and trained teams under her supervision, which enabled her to refine her leadership skills and stimulate success at the company. Zumwalt has been an active member of Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) since 2017. In 2018, she received the "Quickest to Implement Learning" at the WICT Midwest Chapter's Premier Management Development Series. In 2020, she held the IT Webmaster Chair for the WICT Midwest Chapter's Board of Directors.

"I'm honored to be chosen by SCTE for the Catherine Oakes Memorial Leadership Scholarship for Women," said Zumwalt. "Every day, I learn something new about myself as a leader. I'm grateful to be a standard bearer for what Catherine Oakes achieved for women in telecommunications. My desire to continually improve and take advantage of every opportunity ties in well with all this program has to offer."

The SCTE Foundation's Catherine Oakes Memorial Scholarship covers the travel expenses and cost of the WICT Executive Development Series, Leading with Power and Authenticity program which takes place on November 3-4 in San Diego, California. The WICT Executive Development Series is designed to help mid-career professional women build skills that are critical to effectively deliver results within their organizations, with a focus on mastering competencies vital to success at the director and VP level.

The Catherine Oakes Memorial Scholarship was created to memorialize Cathy Oakes, former senior vice president of operations for SCTE, who was recognized as a leader in the telecommunications industry and who passed away suddenly in 2013.


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