Photo courtesy of Dani Kachorsky
While working at a bookstore, Dr. Dani Kachorsky couldn’t figure her life out and was told by her mother that maybe she should “just be a manager,” as if there was nothing better for her to do.
Although this moment inspired Dr. Kachorsky to study English at California State University, this was not the first time she followed her heart.
Dr. Kachorsky joined the Army Reserves and served for four years as a military police officer because she felt that she “needed some sort of structure in [her] life.”
Her time in the reserves was filled with positive memories, from playing games similar to cops and robbers during her advanced individual training to maneuvering various obstacle courses.
“Basic training was a blast, which is not something you are going to hear from a lot of people,” Dr. Kachorsky said.
Although she said the furthest she ever got for her deployment was Virginia for the Boy Scout Jamboree, she still learned many important lessons throughout her time in the Army. When talking about shooting and weaponry, Dr. Kachorsky said that “having that skill is something that I’m glad I know how to do because I have the respect now for firearms that I don’t think that everyone does.”
After her time in the reserves, Dr. Kachorsky became a qualitative research assistant and a Teacher of Record at Arizona State University in order to acquire a Ph.D. She received her Ph.D. in Learning Literacies and Technology in 2018.
Although she has completed enough research to earn her doctorate, Dr. Kachorsky still has some ongoing research projects.
These projects include looking at representations of math in graphic novels and how teachers can leverage that to teach math, analyzing audiobook adaptations of graphic novels which will be presented at a Literacy Research Association Conference and she is also involved in a study on representations of diverse individuals in picture books and how kids respond to diversity.
“A lot of the things that I do are based on research that I learned at ASU and research that I have done myself,” Dr. Kachorsky said.
She plans to continue her research as she teaches at Brophy. “I’d love to do projects with [students] and come up with our own ideas and see which practices work best,” Kachorsky said.
At ASU, Dr. Kachorsky taught Children’s Literature and Content Area Reading. Now, she teaches AP English Literature and Composition to seniors and English 2 to sophomores.
Even though her career path took multiple different trajectories, she says she is in the right place now. The biggest lesson that Dr. Kachorsky has learned throughout her life is that “if you just take things one day at a time, you can get through it.”
Outside of the classroom, Dr. Kachorsky enjoys trying new restaurants, playing Dungeons and Dragons and is overall a “huge nerd.”
Dr. Kachorsky said that teaching truly is one of her biggest passions. “That’s one of the things that when you become a researcher…you are pursuing your passion.”