Kimberly Torres, PhD

Kimberly Torres, PhD
Affiliated Faculty, Organizational Dynamics; Center for Africana Studies

Dr. Kimberly Torres is a faculty member in the Organizational Dynamics program and she is affiliated with Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She previously taught in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies and Sociology Department at the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College, Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY, and Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. Dr. Torres’ main fields of expertise are race and ethnic relations, sociology of education, diversity, equity, and inclusion, poverty and urban inequality, and qualitative methods. Dr. Torres is a trained ethnographer, qualitative interviewer, and focus group facilitator.

Dr. Torres earned her PhD in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 where she received a dissertation fellowship for her work on Black students’ experiences at selective institutions. She is also a summa cum laude graduate of Hamilton College, where she majored in government and sociology.

In 2018, Dr. Torres completed a 3-year fellowship through the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Camille Charles, Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Social Sciences, Professor of Sociology, Africana Studies and Education and Director for the Center for Africana Studies. Dr. Torres was funded by the Carnegie Mellon Foundation and the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania for this fellowship. Earlier in her career, Dr. Torres worked in college advising at New York University and completed two post-docs in the Office of Population Research at Princeton University with Dr. Douglas Massey. Dr. Torres is currently completing a book on the new Black American elite with Drs. Camille Charles, Rory Kramer, and Douglas Massey. The book has been accepted for publication by Princeton University Press and is set to be published in 2022.

Throughout her more than 20-year career, Dr. Torres has authored and co-authored a number of articles on Black students’ experiences at selective schools and how gender, nativity, segregation, and racial identity differentially affect Black students’ achievement and social experiences at selective colleges and universities. Her work has been featured in several top-tier journals as well as The New York Times and Contexts, the premier social science magazine published by the American Sociology Association. Most recently, Dr. Torres has been collaborating with the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence || Coalition to Stop Gun Violence to utilize Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a conceptual framework to examine legal policies that fuel the racialization of gun violence and thus work to redress these legal inequalities to mitigate risk in high-risk communities with the overarching goal of racial equity for all.

Since 2007, Dr. Torres has consulted for a private college admissions firm in New York City and has experience in program evaluation. Currently, Dr. Torres teaches the courses Demystifying the Shoals of Diversity and Inclusiveness: Race, Ethnicity, and the Contemporary American Workplace, and What a Business Professional Needs to Know about Social Science Methods of Qualitative Research in the Organizational Dynamics program at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Dr. Torres has given several talks to academic and professional audiences on the value of targeted Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs and sustainable policies in organizations so that everyone can finally have a seat at the table.

Dr. Torres supervises capstone papers for graduate students in Organizational Dynamics and the Master of Liberal Arts program at the University of Pennsylvania. She also designed the qualitative interviewing protocols for a longitudinal liberal arts assessment at Hamilton College.