Kimberly Ann Bender
Professor; Philip D. and Eleanor G. Winn Professor for Children and Youth at Risk
What I do
I partner with young people facing adversity, and the community-based agencies that serve them, to make life more hopeful and society more just.
addictions and substance use, children and youth, civic and community engagement, evidence-based practice/implementation science, housing and homelessness, intervention research, marginalized populations, mental and behavioral health, social innovation and entrepreneurship, social justice
Professor Kimberly Bender is passionate about developing and testing interventions to empower young people to reach their full potentials. The majority of her work partners with young people experiencing homelessness to understand their needs, engage them in social change projects and develop skills that can prevent adverse experiences.
Bender serves as co-PI on a six-state multi-site research project with youth experiencing homelessness through shelter, drop-in and transitional housing services to better understand risk and protective factors in this population. She also serves as principle investigator on a three-year randomized trial of a mindfulness-based cognitive intervention to prevent victimization and substance among youth residing in emergency shelters funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
More recently, Bender has published in the area of youth participatory action research with youth experiencing homelessness an approach she finds rewarding and meaningful. Her extensive publication record in the area of adolescent and youth risk earned her the university-wide Distinguished Scholar Award. She has also been designated Public Good Faculty of the Year in acknowledgement of her outstanding commitment to the public good through community-engaged research.
Bender prioritizes training students as research team members on her community-engaged research projects and has been recognized with several student-nominated awards, including the Excellence in Mentoring Doctoral Students Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award.
- Ph.D., Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin, 2008
- MSW, Colorado State University, 2002
- BS, Psychology, University of Colorado, 1999
- Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)
- Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
The majority of my work partners with young people experiencing homelessness to understand their needs, engage them in social change projects and develop skills that can prevent adverse experiences. My research includes large-scale survey research, intervention trials, and participatory research methods.
Areas of Research
- Excellence in Mentoring Doctoral Students Award, Graduate School of Social Work
- Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research, Society for Social Work and Research
- Kay M. Stevenson Faculty Citizenship Award, Graduate School of Social Work
- Early Career Social Work Research Scholarship, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)