Alumna of the Month

Kimberly Robinson, DA (2005) 

Kimberly Downing Robinson earned her DA (Doctor of Arts) at ISU in 2005. Before coming to ISU, she had earned a BA (English) and an MA (Interdisciplinary Studies) from the University of Houston-Victoria. Her doctoral papers included topics from eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century literature and art history (see Previous to entering the DA program, Kimberly worked in the following areas at two Texas community colleges as a grant writer, a grant administrator, and an advisor (Wharton County), as well as an administrator, a writing center director, and an instructor of English (Blinn).

In 2005, Kimberly joined the literature and rhetoric faculty at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, previously a community college (Westark) which, in 2001, had achieved university status. Her first collaborative duties were to assess and revise the standing rhetoric curriculum and to hire faculty sufficient to meet the growing demands of her department’s literature and rhetoric programs. Since 2012, she has chaired her college’s promotion committee, as well, viewing that work as meaningful college, program, and faculty development.

She has taught a range of general education literature courses, including the composition sequence, as well as a themed eighteenth century British literature course (e.g. The Asylum; Transatlantic Studies), along with rhetoric courses, including textual research methods, grant writing, and rhetorical textual criticism—with a huge thank you to ISU’s Dr. Nancy Legge for graciously sharing her rhetorical textual criticism syllabus and teaching materials. Kimberly remains interested in innovative interdisciplinary course design both as a means toward fostering critical thinking skills as well as effectively tapping into precious faculty resources (see

Since Fall 2010, she has been the faculty lead in UA – Fort Smith’s 2015 Higher Learning Commission (HLC) reaffirmation of accreditation project. In this role, she has been part of the university’s Senior Leadership Team and has served as the faculty chair on the university’s assessment committee, a cross-disciplinary group of faculty and administrators who have implemented, led, and successfully completed an HLC Pathways Project (Fall 2010-Fall 2014). In preparation for the April 2015 HLC site visit, Kimberly co-edited the institution’s 35,000 word “Assurance Argument.” Her most recent publications and presentations have been a natural product of her assessment and accreditation activities.

Kimberly presently makes her home in Fort Smith, Arkansas, along with her husband, Joe Robinson, where, in addition to being grateful for the blessings of their combined family, they enjoy Arkansas’s beautiful national parks, as well as visiting sites of national and international literary, archeological, and historical significance.