• I am a Professor of Social Work in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. I am dedicated to research that does not replicate deficit narratives about young people but instead partners with them to design, carry out, and share research about their lived expertise to improve the settings and structures that aim to support them. Most of my work partners with young people experiencing homelessness - a group that experiences a great deal of adversity but demonstrates resilience and resistance in the face of this risk. Through participatory methods, our teams have partnered with young people to explore stigma, identity, inequality, social capital, and peer support. I have also partnered with colleagues and community partners nationally to conduct a five-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. I am principle investigator on a 3-year randomized trial of a mindfulness-based cognitive intervention to prevent victimization and substance among youth residing in emergency shelter  funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It is important to me to both inform science, via peer-reviewed journals, earning me the university-wide Distinguished Scholar Award as well as to translate findings in more accessible blogs, briefs and public formats, earning me a Public Impact Fellowship. I am passionate about research that benefits the communities I study with directly and am fortunate to have been designated Public Good Faculty of the Year at DU. I enjoy conducting research in collaboration with stellar graduate students and am honored to have been awarded several student-nominated awards, including the Excellence in Mentoring Doctoral Students Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award. Read more here for a coverage of my work.

  • Kimberly Bender CV_Spring 2021.doc

  • From I to We: Disrupting Individualistic Myths for Social Work Scholarship (Winn Endowed Chair Installment)


  • Belonging: A Fundamental Human Need

  • Finding a sense of purpose

This portfolio last updated: 11-Jan-2023 11:13 AM