Ericka Kimball

Associate Professor

PSU History

I joined the faculty at the PSU School of Social Work in 2014.


I have 10 years of social work practice experience in various healthcare settings including acute-care, long-term care, geriatric psych, and in-patient mental health. I also have policy administration experience working on the Ryan White CARE Act.

Academic/Research Interests

I teach in the undergraduate social work program primarily in the areas of research and evaluation and policy.

My scholarly identity is that of a historian, policy wonk, practitioner, and activist. These distinct but overlapping domains are intricately connected to my research and teaching.

My research is critically focused in the domains of domestic violence and healthcare to understand and develop alternatives to current practices. The typical mainstream responses are mostly focused on secondary and tertiary intervention on an individual level (e.g. shelter, protective orders, healthcare screening, etc.). My interest is in multi-system universal and selective primary prevention and shifting the focus of response from individual-levels to system-levels. This means examining the interactions and influences of systems and challenging the focus of individual intervention as a response to complex social problems. Some of my scholarly influences include Eve Tuck, Andrea Ritchie, Jan Fook, and Rabbi Dayna Ruttenberg.

My teaching is grounded in critical pedagogy influenced by Paulo Freire and bell hooks. I use a self-grading model in all of my courses to promote a more student-centered approach to learning and evaluation. Using this model, students focus on their own learning goals and receive constructive feedback to encourage their thinking. Students focus on progressive development through feedback rather than on achieving mastery of content. This model encourages students to take an active role in learning and attempts to create a more dynamic and engaged learning community. 

Personal Interests

I love reading, live music, candy, and hanging out with my family. I also have a sizable Funko Pop toy collection.

  • MSW
    Augsburg College
  • BSW
    College of St. Catherine
  • PhD
    University of Minnesota