Assistant Teaching Professor
I was raised by an (im)migrant mother who worked tirelessly so her children could have a better life, and that plan included making education a top priority. I mirror my mother’s tenacity and determination by fostering the skills and confidence my students need to be successful and joyful in life. Education researcher and author Lisa Delpit infers that we cannot treat our students like other people’s children — their struggles are our struggles. My experience has taught me that educators are most successful when we teach in a way that students can understand from their varying cultural perspectives and backgrounds.
The classroom is a sacred space for teaching, learning, and more notably, critical transformation. I design course activities and assignments that require students to dialogically engage by applying what they learn through theory, literature, film, and poetry in my classroom. However, it is just as important for them to critically compare and reflect their own worldviews and the world around them when engaging in these discussions. Educators must teach in a way that students can understand from their varying cultural perspectives. In applying Culturally Responsive Teaching (Ladson-Billings, 1994), I believe educators should strategically adopt the cultural capital available in these spaces to fully capture the attention of their students. By engaging students in this fashion, the instructors are able to address how race, class, gender, power, and privilege have impacted their lived realities. This approach provides students an opportunity to critically learn about their lived experiences and how education not only brings value to their communities, but also opens doors for them to responsibly participate and contribute to our democracy.
I earned my Ph.D. in the Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education program at Washington State University. My non-traditional dissertation includes a documentary grounded in decolonial Chicana Feminism titled, Between Worlds: A Personal Journey of Self Reflection while on the Path of Conocimiento. Before my arrival, I was awarded with the 2019/2020 Eastern Washington University College of Social Sciences Teaching Excellence Award.