Kate’s work aims to explore and promote effective models of mental health support and services for students in K-12 learning environments. In particular, Kate is interested in the role community organizing plays in both community healing and school mental health policy. Additionally, Kate is interested in federal, state, and local policies that impact school-based mental health care and pedagogical practices that promote belonging and healing. Kate’s goal is to better understand how public health professionals and education professionals can work together to create destigmatized, culturally sustaining systems of mental health care for children that prioritize well-being over academic performance.
MORE ABOUT KATE
Before attending CU, Kate taught second grade in Baltimore, Maryland. As a student, she went through most of school with an undiagnosed learning disability. This experience informed her practice as a teacher and lead her to contemplate the complexities surrounding labels in education, which she now brings into her research. Kate’s identity and experience as an educator drive her research, which she hopes will be beneficial to students, families, and communities.
DISSERTATION GRANT AWARDEE — FALL 2022
Exploring the Role of School Policy in Healing, Wellbeing, and Mental Health: Centering Student Perspectives on School-Based Approaches to Trauma
This dissertation explores school-based approaches to trauma and school policies that impact student mental health. Using a critical sociological lens and youth-engaged research methods, this study aims to a) center youth perspectives on the policies and practices necessary for schools to take transformative approaches to trauma; b) understand how youth’s experiences differ between schools based on the school’s approach to trauma; c) explore tensions between a school’s stated trauma policy and students’ lived experience; and d) examine barriers that school personnel face when implementing trauma-related policies and practices.
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