Kimberly Athans, Ed.D.

Professor of Education

Dr. Kimberly Athans joined the School of Education faculty at ¹ú²ú¾çÂ鶹¾ç in 2017. She began her teaching career as a tutor in the writing center at The University of San Diego, where she studied English and education, and where she obtained her teaching credential in 1996. In her twenty years in public education, she has taught middle school language arts in Las Vegas, and AP/IB English, journalism, ninth grade English, and literacy academy for struggling readers in California. Prior to returning to San Diego, she taught dual credit English, and English grades 10-12 at The Woodlands High School, as well as composition and rhetoric courses for Lone Star College in The Woodlands, Texas. Her research interests are in literacy, teaching writing, and the legacy of the National Writing Project.  


  • Ed.D. (literacy), Sam Houston State University
  • M.A. English, University of Houston
  • M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction, literacy, University of San Diego
  • B.A. English, University of San Diego

Courses Taught

  • Child & Adolescent Literature

  • Classroom Assessment and Research Practices

  • Teaching Reading & Writing to Secondary Students
  • General Methods for Secondary Teachers
  • Methods of Teaching Reading & Writing
  • Clinical Practice Seminar
  • Advanced Literacy Assessment, Instruction, & Intervention
  • Curriculum Development, Innovation, & Evaluation
  • Content Specific Pedagogy for Secondary Teachers
  • Foundations of Education & Learning Theory

Experience in Field

  • Legacy of the National Writing Project
  • Best practices teaching writing
  • Literacy practices in secondary education
  • Teaching composition & rhetoric
  • Preservice teachers writing experiences

Professional and Community Involvement

  •  Peer Reviewer for NCTE & English Journal
  • Character Education Resource Center Advisory Committee, University of San Diego
  • National Writing Project Fellow/Teacher Consultant
  • California Association of Teachers of English
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts
  • Textbook and Academic Authors Association
  • University Supervisor, ¹ú²ú¾çÂ鶹¾ç

Awards and Honors

  • ¹ú²ú¾çÂ鶹¾ç Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) Faculty Writing Retreat Recipient, 2018, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Highlighted Alumni, SOLES, University of San Diego, 2019
  • New Teacher of the Year, Robison Junior High School, 1996

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications


  • Athans, K. (2023). "A mirror to the soul: Teaching culturally & linguistically diverse populations", California English, 29 (1).

  • Athans, K. (2023). “Poetry is a vibe: Engaging students with poetry”.  California English, 28 (3). 

  • Athans, K. (2022). "You can't dab ink in a dry well: Creating confident passionate writers".  California English, 28, (1).

  • Athans, K. (2022). "I like you just the way you are: Why secondary teachers need Fred Rogers". English in Texas, 52 (1). 

  • Athans, K. & Sheryl Clark. (2022). “Be the candle & the mirror that reflects it: The place of canonical & popular culture texts in our classrooms”. California English, 27 (3).

  • Athans, K. (2022). "The mystique of the national writing project", Texas Journal of Literacy Education, 9 (2).

  • Athans, K. (2022). “The residue of the old mellows and sweetens the new: What Alan Jacobs teaches us in his book breaking bread with the dead”. English in Texas, 51 (2).

  • Athans, K. (2021). â€œBuilding a cathedral”. California English, 27 (2).

  • Athans, K. (2021). “Speculative writing as a habit of mind”. California English, 26 (4).

  • Athans, K. (2021). “Poetry discussion groups in the secondary English classroom”.  English Journal, 110 (5).

  • Athans, K. (2020).  “Tide pool to the stars: The aesthetic value of literature”. Signal Journal: The Journal of the International Literacy Association’s Special Interest Group: Network on Adolescent Literature, 43 (2).

  • Athans, K. (2020). “Tide pool to the stars: Literacy narrative”. California English, 25 (4).

  • Athans, K. (2020). “Balloons in a boundless sky: Teachers who write create students who write”.  English in Texas, 49 (2).

  • Athans, K. (2019). “A red balloon tied to an anchor”. California English, 24 (4).

  • Athans, K. (2019) “My Old Professor”. University of San Diego Alumni Magazine, Spring.

  • Athans, K. (2018). National writing project fellows’ perceptions of themselves as writers and as teachers of writing. Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas.

  • Athans, K. (2016). “Book review: The pleasures of reading in an age of distraction”, English in Texas, 46 (2).

  • Benge, C., Athans, K. et al. (2016). “Using academic notebooks in doctoral writing: An investigation of doctoral students’ and instructors’ perceptions”. AERA Conference, Washington D.C.


  • Speculative Writing as a Habit of Mind, San Marcos Writing Project, Cal State San Marcos, June 2023
  • Which Texts Work as Windows and Mirrors for Your Students? Character Education Conference, University of San Diego, June 2019
  • Live United! An Integration of Science & Faith; Integrating Christian Elements in Clinical Practice; Point Loma Nazarene University, April 2019
  • Literacy Practices for Secondary Teachers, University of Maine, December 2018
  • Close Reading Using Cornell Notes, Conroe ISD, August 2016
  • State of our Schools Superintendent’s Address, The Woodlands High School, September 2015
  • Painless Poetry: Exciting Ways to Engage Students in their Understanding and Appreciation of Poetry, Conroe ISD, August 2015
  • Professional Learning Communities in Action, The Woodlands High School, August 2015
  • Commonplace Books in the Literature Classroom, Conroe ISD, August 2014
  • The Pleasures of Reading in a Digital Age, Lone Star College UP, January 2014
  • Poetry Circles in the Secondary Classroom, Reading & Writing Conference, Sam Houston State University, September 2013
  • Read Around Groups, Sam Houston Writing Project, June 2013
  • Inquiry Circles, CISD District Cadre, February 2013
  • Poetry Circles in the Secondary Classroom, Conroe ISD, August 2012
  • Literature Circles in the Secondary Classroom, Conroe ISD, August 2011
  • Visual Rhetoric & Media Literacy, Lone Star College, June 2010