Kirstin's family weathered emotional and financial instability while she was growing up, and she experienced first-hand the way school can be a refuge for students. As a teacher, she is committed to engaging students in authentic scientific practices, collaborating with students and community members to learn together in inclusive and just environments, and supporting and making public the work of teaching and learning.
Kirstin is a National Board Certified Teacher and a Senior Fellow at the Knowles Teacher Initiative, where she is the editor-in-chief for outreach of Kaleidoscope: Educator Voices and Perspectives. She holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Stanford and a master's in teaching from the Stanford Teacher Education Program.
- Jacobs Educator Award (national award for ed-tech in inquiry), Indiana University (2019).
- NABT's Kim Foglia AP Biology Service Award (2018).
- Stanford Graduate School of Education's Alumni Excellence in Education Award (2017).
- National Board Certification (2014).
- NABT's Outstanding New Biology Teacher (2012).
- NABT/BSCS Science Learning AP Biology Leadership Academy (2012-2014).
- Knowles Teacher Initiative Teaching Fellowship (2009).
- Woodrow Wilson Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship (2009).
- NSF Graduate Fellowship (2004).
- NDSEG Fellowship (2004).
- Fulbright Grant (2002).
Published writing on education:
Kirstin Milks (2018). It’s time to reconsider how we value teachers’ work. Originally published in the Knowles Blog: Ideas from the Knowles community on teaching, leading and learning. Moorestown, NJ: The Knowles Teacher Initiative.
Kirstin Milks (2017). Teachers telling truth. Kaleidoscope: Educator Voices and Perspectives, 3(2).
Katie Blaske and Kirstin Milks (2016). Use your story: Teacher learning through storytelling. In the Knowles Blog: Ideas from the Knowles community on teaching, leading and learning. Moorestown, NJ: The Knowles Teacher Initiative.
Kirstin J. Milks (2016). In school, ask how we know what we know. In Unity and Diversity Project, 2015. 2015 Topic: What Is The Most Important Thing We Can Teach Our Students?
Kirstin Milks (2016). My students and I are ‘co-adventurers’ in learning. In Fraser, James W., et al., 2016. What Made Me the Teacher I Am Today? A Reflection by Selected Leonore Annenberg-Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows. Princeton, NJ: The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
KD Davenport, Kirstin Jane Milks, Rebecca Van Tassell (2016). Tree-thinking: a response. American Biology Teacher 78:5.
KD Davenport, Kirstin Jane Milks, Rebecca Van Tassell (2015). Investigating Tree-Thinking and Ancestry with Cladograms. American Biology Teacher 77:3.
KD Davenport, Kirstin Jane Milks, Rebecca Van Tassell (2015). Using evolutionary data in developing phylogenetic trees: a scaffolded approach with authentic data (open access). American Biology Teacher 77:4.
Kirstin J. Milks (2015). Failing is not falling. In Unity and Diversity Project, 2014. 2014 Topic: What is the Value of Letting Students Struggle in Class?
Kirstin J. Milks (2014) What I learned from Rolo. Educational Leadership 72:66.