Born and raised in Massachusetts, Kate Henley (Long) Averett received her BA in religion, magna cum laude, from Mount Holyoke College in 2004 and her MDiv from Harvard University in 2008. Kate worked with children throughout her life; she was a babysitter for neighborhood children in middle school and high school, a youth worker and ballet teacher after graduating from college, a part-time nanny throughout divinity school, and a full-time nanny for two years after finishing her MDiv. It was her experiences working with children that motivated her to pursue a PhD in Sociology with a focus on gender and childhood.
Kate moved from Massachusetts to Texas in 2010 to attend the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a graduate fellow in the UT Austin Urban Ethnography Lab. There, she carried out research on the ways that LGBTQ parents resist heteronormativity in how they raise their children. Her article based on this research, “The Gender Buffet: LGBTQ Parents Resisting Heteronormativity”, was published in Gender & Society in 2016; this paper received the Norval Glenn Prize from the UT Austin Sociology Department and an honorable mention for the Sally Hacker Award from the Sex & Gender Section of the American Sociological Association. For her dissertation, “Educating the Unique Child: Gender, Sexuality, and Homeschooling,” Kate gathered original survey data from over 600 homeschooling parents, interviewed 46 of those parents, and carried out participant observation at homeschooling conferences and conventions. Her dissertation was awarded the Martin Levine Award from the Sexualities Section of the American Sociological Association.
Kate received her PhD in Sociology with a certificate in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies (LGBTQ/Sexualities track) in 2016. In the fall of 2016, she began her position as Assistant Professor in the Sociology department at the University at Albany, SUNY, with an affiliation in the department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her first book, The Homeschool Choice: Parents and the Privatization of Education, was published by New York University Press in 2021. Kate is currently working on a study of parents’ experiences with home-based education during COVID-19 related school closures.
You can download Kate’s CV here.