Katherine D. Kinzler
Vice Provost for Academic Career Advancement
Katherine D. Kinzler is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the College. She is also an affiliate of the Department of Comparative Human Development, the Committee on Education, and the Roman Family Center for Decision Research.
As vice provost for academic career advancement, Katie’s work focuses broadly on the lifecycle of University faculty and academics, supporting them at all stages and transitions of their careers to help them build and maintain academic excellence, intellectual engagement, and well-being. She leads the University’s Faculty Development Program, which offers a range of programming to provide support and skill-building in diverse areas of academics’ careers and lives. This includes the Academic Communicators Network, which helps academics effectively communicate about the impact of their research and scholarship with external audiences.
Katie also oversees leadership development and chair support, faculty awards, recruitment and retention, dual careers, family support, emeriti programming and resources, and the Neubauer Family Assistant Professors Program. Her portfolio aims to be expansive in considering academics’ diverse needs, career paths, and forms of engagement, while providing them with the tools and support needed to foster rigorous inquiry, discovery, and impact.
Katie initially joined the faculty in 2008 as a member of the University of Chicago’s inaugural cohort of Neubauer Family Assistant Professors. She spent 2015–2019 at Cornell University, where in 2019 she served as chair of the Department of Psychology. After returning to the University of Chicago, she served as a deputy dean for the Division of the Social Sciences from 2019–2021, and as chair of the Department of Psychology from 2021–2023. As chair of psychology, she oversaw an expansion of the department through establishing a new program in social psychology. She is also a noted graduate student mentor, and in 2023 was a recipient of the University of Chicago Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award.
Katie’s research sits at the intersection of developmental and social psychology, where she conducts experimental studies with children to reveal the foundations of human social cognition. Her work focuses on the origins and development of prejudice and ingroup/outgroup thinking, with an emphasis on understanding how language and accent mark social groups.
Katie completed a BA in cognitive science at Yale University, a PhD in psychology at Harvard University, and was a Fulbright Scholar at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Her research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Sciences Foundation. Her work has appeared regularly in the New York Times and other media outlets, and in 2017 she was named a “Young Scientist” by the World Economic Forum. Her first book, How You Say It, exposes linguistic prejudice.