Kimberly Knowles (she/her/hers)

Academic Success Coach
Director of Developmental and Exploratory Advising Programs


Areas of Interest

  • As chair of CASA's Explore Your Path committee, I love helping students explore major and career options.  I helped design our Explore Your Path portal and our Explore Their Path blog to help students considering a change - check it out.  You can also follow us on Instagram at @USFCAExploreYourPath.
  • I also serve on CASA's Academic Probation committee, CASA's Touchpoints and Interventions committee, and CASA's Training, Development & Self-Care committee.  I often mentor new CASA Academic Success coaches and currently serve on the planning committee for the PACSW's Women's Co-Mentorship program for women-identified faculty and staff.
  • As a former graduate assistant from the Ohio State Multicultural Center, I am always interested in examining my own areas of privilege and determining how we can make USF and the world a more inclusive place for all.
  • I have an elementary-school aged daughter, Samantha, at home.  I am currently one of the co-chairs of the USF Parent Group and do my best to support other parents on campus!


  • B.A., Psychology and Economics, Indiana University - Bloomington (with Liberal Arts and Management Certificate and Spanish Minor)
  • M.A., Higher Education and Student Affairs, The Ohio State University - Columbus

Professional Memberships

  • NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
  • NACADA - National Academic Advising Association

Fun Facts

Year Started at USF: 2007
Hometown: Chicago, IL (Northwest Suburbs)

  • I have been dancing since I was four years old. I love to take dance class whenever I can. Ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern, heels, and Rhythm & Motion are a few of the modalities that I enjoy.  I've been trying lots of new virtual dance classes while in quarantine.  I also discovered a new practice called Biodanza when I moved to San Francisco and met my husband through it!
  • I sing with the USF Faculty / Staff choir at the Commencement mass each semester and other masses from time to time.  I also sing Karaoke online whenever I have the chance via the Smule app!
  • I love to read and used to organize a women’s book club in the city.  Some books that I would recommend for new students are Friendships Don't Just Happen by Shasta Nelson and The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal and The Gifts of Imperfection and anything else written by Brene Brown (I love her!).  
  • I was raised as an only child, but I have five older half brothers and sisters from my dad's previous marriage.
  • I get really obsessed with TV shows and actors and enjoy watching fan-made videos on Youtube.  Some of my favorite TV shows over the years have included Grey's Anatomy, Chuck, One Tree Hill, Friday Night Lights, and Dance Academy.  
  • Blogging is one of my creative outlets outside of work. Visit to check out some of my old posts.  I hope to add some more posts in the year ahead!
  • I sometimes teach a 1 cr. elective course called INTD 053 Exploring Majors and Careers.
  • My Myers-Briggs preferences are ENFP, my Holland Codes are SAI, and my top Strengthsquest themes are Strategic, Individualization, Learner, Communication, Achiever, and Woo (Winning Others Over)!

Why Did I Become an Academic Success Coach?

I had some really powerful mentors who encouraged and empowered me to go after my dreams. My passion is to inspire students to go after their dreams, so that they can experience all that life has to offer and make a positive difference in the world!

My Advice for Students

  • Life is too short to spend it living solely to meet others' expectations.
  • Envision what you would like your legacy to be when you die and live each day of your life working towards that.
  • It is never too late to change. Every moment is a new opportunity to pause, take a breath, and start anew!

Contact Me:

My Favorite Singing Performances

Here are a few of my favorite singing covers that I've done on