Ph.D. Students

Kimberly Vachon
  • Title
    • Ph.D. Candidate
  • Division Graduate Studies Division
  • Department
    • Education Department
  • Affiliations Sociology Department
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • McHenry Library, 0283
  • Mail Stop Education Department

Summary of Expertise

Kim Vachon is a Ph.D. student in the Education department with a designated emphasis in Sociology at UC-Santa Cruz. Her research explores how teachers develop a racial consciousness in teacher education, antiracist pedagogy utilized by teacher educators, and how state and program policies provide or confine teacher preparation as an environment for antiracist work. Her dedication to this work arose from her professional history as a teacher and clinical counselor in educational and clinical settings mainly in Chicago. These experiences included elementary and high schools, an LGBTQ+ community center, a housing program for young adults experiencing homelessness, after-school programs, and camps. The blend of working in education and counseling in Chicago provided Kim with alarming insight into the interconnected web of systemic discrimination impacting today’s youth. It is her aim to work towards dismantling this inequity while pursuing her doctoral degree and beyond. In addition to being a part of the exciting CTERIN network of researchers considering teacher education in California, Kim is currently the GOLD fellow at the UC Center Sacramento, where she serves as a mentor for undergraduate students and interns at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). At the CTC, she will be working on a project that considers issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in relation to state and teacher education program standards and teaching performance expectations.

Research Interests

Teacher education, education policy, Critical Whiteness Studies, Critical Race Theory, race and racism, qualitative research methods, document analysis. 

Biography, Education and Training

Master of Arts, Counseling Psychology, 2013

Adler School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, IL


Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, 2009

Lawrence University, Appleton, WI


Bachelor of Music, Choral/General Music Education, 2009

Lawrence University, Appleton, WI

Honors, Awards and Grants

GOLD Fellow at UC Center Sacramento

California Teacher Education Research and Improvement Network (CTERIN) and Educating Teacher Educators (ETE) Fellow (2018-Present)

UCSC Services and Transfer And Re-entry Students Scholar (2018-2019)

Regents Fellowship: University of California – Santa Cruz (2017-2018)


Teaching Interests

Social and Cultural Foundations

Urban Education

Race, Cultural and Society of Education