Kat Nichols

Host & Principal Investigator

Kat Nichols has taught and researched pre-kindergarten through college in New York City, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. After graduating from UW-Madison with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts (Radio/TV/Film) and Theatre, and Business Certificate, Kat moved to New York City where she completed a Master of Science in Education with a focus on disability studies. In a NYC public high school, she taught students in all major content areas (Special Education, English, Math, Science, Social Studies) and worked in collaboration with students to establish a drama program.

She then moved to North Carolina, and earned a Ph.D. in Education, from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Culture, Curriculum, and Change program. While completing her doctoral degree, she taught undergraduate and graduate students in Literacy and Special Education teaching programs; community college students in GED, remedial English, and liberal arts programs; and students in a New Jersey high school.
Her dissertation research was inspired by the Public Science Project’s critical participatory action research (CPAR) epistemology, now central in her teaching philosophy. She uses research methods, and a blending of science and the arts, to create inclusive spaces for all students where meaningful, co-constructed learning experiences can occur.

As an Assistant Professor of Educational Studies at Ripon College, she was an instructor, advisor, and mentor to pre-service teachers and supervised their student teaching in various Wisconsin public school districts. She also worked as a Learning Specialist in UW-Athletics. Kat Nichols currently works as a Faculty Associate in UW-Madison’s School of Education, in the Elementary Education Program, where she coordinates practicum and student teaching fieldwork.

She is passionate about collaborating with students, educators, families, and communities to co-create inclusive spaces of discovery for all learners.