Photograph of a white woman with short brown hair and black glasses

Kate Caldwell

Clinical Assistant Professor , Disability and Human Development

Office Phone



1640 W. Roosevelt Rd., 245 DHSP

Mail Code


Office Hours

By appointment


A theorist, methodologist, and empirical researcher, Kate received her Doctorate in disability studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Having also received a master's' degree from the University of Chicago in interdisciplinary social sciences, she brings this expertise to approaching complex issues where various fields intersect and facilitating dialogue across disciplines.

Selected Grants

Coleman Foundation, Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Education for People with Disabilities (CEED), Postdoctoral Research & Training

UIC AHS Interdisciplinary Pilot Grant, Lead On: Leadership & Women with Disabilities in Government, Primary Investigator

ACL/NIDILRR, Promoting Entrepreneurship Among Low-Income Youth with Disabilities, Co-Investigator

Service to the Community

Kate participated in Entrepreneurship Solutions Seminar at the 2016 White House Summit on the United State of Women, representing women entrepreneurs with disabilities. She serves as advisor for the Subcommittee on Entrepreneurship, Tax Incentives & Procurement for the National Task Force on Workforce Development and Employability for People with Disabilities.

Leadership in the Profession

UIC Inclusive Classroom Initiative, Faculty Fellow, Developing a Disability Inclusive Toolbox: A Disability Studies Approach to Active Learning and Student Engagement

Society for the Study of Social Problems, Chair, Disability Division

Notable Honors

2014 - Achievement Award for Outstanding Personal and Professional Achievement, University of Illinois at Chicago

2011-2013 - Chancellor’s Graduate Research Fellowship, University of Illinois at Chicago

2011 - Chancellor's Committee on the Status of LGBT Issues, Graduate Paper Award, University of Illinois at Chicago

2010 - Ann & Edward Page-El M.D. Scholarship Award in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, University of Illinois at Chicago


Doctoral Candidate, Disability Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2014
Dissertation: “By the Bootstraps: People with Intellectual Disabilities and the Reification of Success in Social Entrepreneurship”
Advisor: Sarah Parker Harris, PhD, Assistant Professor, Disability and Human Development

Masters of the Arts Program in the Social Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2007
Thesis: “Care Machines: A Qualitative Analysis of Families of Children with Intellectual Disabilities”
Advisor: Peter J. Smith, MA, MD, Assistant Professor, Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Colby College, 2004
B.A. thesis I: “The Buddy Study: An Examination of College Students’ Attitudes Towards Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities”
B.A. thesis II: “Pain: A Multidimensional Approach”
Advisor: Joseph E. Atkins, PhD, Assistant Professor, Cognitive Science