Oakes Faculty Fellows

The Oakes College faculty represents a wealth of expertise from the natural sciences to the humanities, and we are proud to have some of the top scholars in the world among our faculty. Our students major in nearly every discipline at UCSC—from economics and computer science, to theater arts and Latin American and Latino studies—and they are well supported by the depth and breadth of the Oakes College faculty and the extensive knowledge of our advising team.

TBA is Oakes's faculty chair!

The Chair of the Faculty is an Academic Senate member, other than the Provost, who is elected by the college Faculty to serve a two year term, and will serve as a member of the Executive Committee.


Kimberly Adilia Helmer
  • Title
    • Teaching Professor (Senate Faculty)
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • Writing Program
    • Stevenson College
  • Affiliations Stevenson College, Oakes College, Academic Senate, Research Center for the Americas
  • Phone
    831-459-4686 (Office), 805-320-0875 (Mobile)
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Stevenson College Academic Building, Stevenson 270
  • Office Hours Wednesday, 4:00-5:00 (Fall, Winter, Spring); directly after classes (one hour) & weekly required conferences; WeChat 24/7
  • Mail Stop Stevenson College
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Teacher Education; Bilingualism, Multilingualism; Writing; Anthropology; Ethnography
  • Courses Stevenson Core Course; Writing 1E; Writing 25, "Writing about Place"; Writing 26 "Writing about Language"

Summary of Expertise

linguistic and educational anthropology, applied linguistics, multilingual literacy development, and instructional technology

Research Interests

Spanish heritage language acquisition and pedagogy, English for Academic Purposes, Latin@ academic achievement, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

Biography, Education and Training

Kimberly Adilia Helmer holds an MA TESOL from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching from the University of Arizona. She is the recipient of two distinguished teaching prizes from the University of Arizona and John Jay College, CUNY.

Honors, Awards and Grants

SCHOLAR-IN-RESIDENCE, Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT), John Jay College, The City University of New York, 2013-2014

DISTINGUISHED TEACHING PRIZE, John Jay College, The City University of New York, 2011

University of Arizona, 2006

TILLY WARNOCK FELLOWSHIP, Department of English, University of Arizona, 2006


PSC CUNY GRANT (TRADITIONAL B), The City University of New York, 2014 ($3,990)

PSC CUNY GRANT (TRADITIONAL B), The City University of New York, 2013 ($3,990)

PSC CUNY GRANT (TRADITIONAL B), The City University of New York, 2012 ($3,990)

PSC CUNY GRANT, The City University of New York, 2009 ($4,500)

Selected Publications

  • ‘It’s not real, it’s just Spanish class”: Understanding Spanish heritage language student resistance in a borderlands charter high school. Heritage Language Journal, 11(3), 186-206. (2014)
  • Interdisciplinary connections and academic performance in psychology-English learning communities. Teaching of Psychology, 41(1), 57-62. (2014)
  • A twice-told tale: Identity and resistance in a borderlands Spanish heritage language class. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 44(3), 270-286. (2013)
  • Critical English for academic purposes: Building on learner, teacher, and program strengths. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12 (4), 273-287. (2013)
  • ‘Proper’ Spanish is a waster of time”: Mexican-origin student resistance to learning Spanish as a heritage language. In L. Scherff & K. Spector (Eds.), Culturally relevant pedagogy: Clashes and confrontations (pp. 135-163). New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. (2012)