Kari Smalkoski

Dr. Kari Smalkoski's research and teaching focuses on gender, masculinity, educational inequality, and youth sports. She writes extensively about Asian American students' experiences in and out of schools; her research findings are included in a 2014-16 AAPI Bullying Prevention Task force Report, a White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Her current book project, American Dream Disrupted: Rewriting Narratives on Hmong Youth, Masculinity, and Violence, examines the ways that Hmong boys experience schooling through school choice programs. Dr. Smalkoski currently co-leads a new initiative, in partnership with urban public schools in the Twin Cities, called Minnesota Youth Story Squad. She has been interviewed most recently by Minnesota Public Radio and The Atlantic. You can read more about her work with the Story Squad in Inside Higher Ed.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Family Social Science, University of Minnesota, 2014.


  • Masculinity studies
  • Hmong youth
  • Boyhood
  • School bullying and violence
  • Educational inequality
  • Ethnographic research methods
  • Community engagement
Courses Taught
  • GWSS 3590: Gender, Race, and the Achievement Gap
  • GWSS 3002W: Gender, Race, and Class
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Executive Advisory Board Member, Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC):


  • Partnership with Northeast Middle School, a Minneapolis Public School: 2017 - Present
  • Partnership with Parkway Montessori Middle School, a St. Paul Public School: 2015 - Present
  • Institute for Advanced Study, Research and Creative Collaborative Grant, 2016 - 2019
  • Joan Aldous Innovation Grant, 2016 - 2017
  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, The Graduate School, University of Minnesota, 2013 - 2014
  • Henry Luce Hmong Studies Graduate Fellowship, 2010 - 2011