Kari's photo

Kari Kokka

Assistant Professor

Teaching and Learning
Mail Code


Dr. Kari Kokka (she/her) is an assistant professor of mathematics education in the teaching and learning department. She studies social justice mathematics, mathematics teacher activism, and critical consciousness development of mathematics teachers. The National Science Foundation and Spencer Foundation fund her current research projects. Before her position at UNLV, she was an assistant professor of mathematics education at the University of Pittsburgh (2017-2022), where she was awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Research Award (2022), the Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2021), and the Iris Marion Marion Award for Social Justice (2019). She began her career in education as a mathematics teacher and diving coach at Berkeley High School (1999). She was a mathematics teacher activist and mathematics instructional coach at Vanguard High School (2001-2011), a Title I public school in New York City. She used performance assessment and complex instruction. She is a co-founder of the Creating Balance in an Unjust World Conference on STEMM Education and Social Justice (co-founded in 2007) and former co-chair of the Critical Educators for Social Justice SIG (2017-2019). She has been part of the Radical STEMM Educators of the Bay Area, the People’s Education Movement, and the New York Collective of Radical Educators. Dr. Kokka completed her Ed.D. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2017), principal certification with the NYC Leadership Academy (2011), M.A. in Education (2001), and B.S. in mechanical engineering at Stanford University (1999). She is a proud product of East San Jose, CA, K-12 public schools. You can learn more about her work on her website and a list of social justice mathematics and science curricular resources for K-12 teachers compiled. She can be reached at kari.kokka@unlv.edu, and you can follow her on Twitter @karikokka.