Kimberly Bender, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Social Work in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. Her area of expertise is development and adaptation of interventions to prevent adolescent problem behavior. A majority of her work has narrowed in on psychosocial interventions for homeless youth. She has conducted a five-state multi-site research project with homeless youth through shelter, drop-in, and transitional housing services to better understand risk and protective factors in this population. She serves as principle investigator on a 3-year randomized trial of a mindfulness-based cognitive intervention to prevent victimization and substance among shelter youth funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Bender has published extensively in the areas of substance use, trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, and broader mental health concerns experienced by homeless youth, earning her the university-wide Distinguished Scholar Award in 2015. In 2014, she was designated Public Good Faculty of the Year in acknowledgement of outstanding commitment to the public good through community-engaged research. Dr. 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 in 2013 and again in 2015 and the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010. At, GSSW, Dr. Bender teaches courses in mental health intervention with youth and research methods.
GSSW Associate professor, Kimberly Bender, in collaboration with Anne DePrince, Professor in Clinical Psychology, received an R15 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The grant funds a randomized clinical trial of a mindfulness-based intervention to enhance homeless youths’ risk detection and problem solving skills in order to prevent experiences of victimization and substance use. This 3-year grant will involve students as research assistants conducting interviews with youth and as interns facilitating mindfulness groups. Contact Dr. Bender if you are interested in being involved!
Homeless youth from Urban Peak share their photos and experiences with the community at the Molecule Effect in December 2015. A rare chance to have their voices heard and to share their perspectives on the world.
Youth Voice Research Team: Stephanie Begun, Jonah DeChantes, Anamika Barman-Adhikari, Kaite Dunn, Andrea Portillo, Kimberly Bender