Katie Owens Uelk is the Senior Research Scientist for UChicago Impact. In this role, Katie works collaboratively with the STEP team on the ongoing development and refinement of the STEP K-3 formative literacy assessment. She focuses on strengthening and advancing the research base and providing leadership and direction around research-based best practices for literacy assessment and instructional policy and programming.
Before joining UChicago Impact, Katie worked as an External Researcher in Chicago Public Schools to design and administer an arts-based pilot program for adolescent literacy instruction. Before moving to Chicago, she taught 4th through 8th grade in St. Louis using an arts-integration framework in the literacy classroom. Katie holds a B.A. in English Writing and a B.M. in Vocal Performance from DePauw University. She also earned an M.Ed. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Urban Education and Social Justice from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Additionally, Katie holds a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Her main research interests include adolescent literacy and arts-based pedagogies — particularly the intersection between literacy, art-making, and social justice.