Ed.D. Directory

Cohort 4

Kimberly Hankins EDUCATION • M.S. in Environmental Science Johns Hopkins University • B.A. in Environmental Policy Hartwick College

ENROLLED • Cohort 4

LOCATION • Crystal Lake, Ill.

Nontraditional education has always been a thread throughout Kim Hankins’s career as an environmental professional. Each step in Kim’s journey has provided her with critical skills to understand the power of educating for change. She has always believed that her role is to open the door to something new or misunderstood. She equips others with the information they need to lead change and implement sustainable principles in the workplace and the classroom. Kim’s career began at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where she learned to analyze regulation, interpret and develop presentations based on controversial new legislation, and create partnerships across the country with industry and the federal government. After a move to northeastern Pennsylvania, she was hired as the executive director of a watershed association. This job provided key nonprofit experience, which is something she uses continuously to this day. She then moved to Ontario, where she continued her nonprofit work in partnership with the city of Toronto. Creating environmental change in an international setting with a completely different governing structure was an invaluable experience. Kim’s time in Illinois has been the most impactful on her career. She started at McHenry County College as an adjunct instructor where she helped students make the connections to their everyday choices through simple environmental science immersive experiences. In 2012, the college wrote a sustainability strategic plan, one of the first of its kind for a community college. The plan identified three areas of action: green campus, green community and green curriculum. Kim was hired as the first sustainability director at McHenry County College in April 2013 and was tasked with implementing this plan. It was clear that this was not only her dream job, but the culmination of her career choices to date. As a doctoral student in the Educational Sustainability program, Kim is interested in researching two-year approaches to sustainability education in community college settings. This body of research would provide students an opportunity to know more about the programs available so they are able to; and, allow two-year schools to share resources, success and misses. Through her work and research, she hopes to provide students with the knowledge they need to align their needs and interests with existing programs and make more informed choices and understand what impact their career will have on the world. Kim also wants to provide two-year school administrators with a space to share resources, successes and misses. This research will fill a critical gap in the educational sustainability literature and make a lasting impact on the future of community colleges. Kim was born and raised near Philadelphia, but has lived it the Midwest for the last 20 years and calls it home. Kim enjoys being outdoors and kayaking, swimming, golfing and hiking with her husband and two sons.


Ed.D. in Educational Sustainability

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