I am an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Portland State University. I am also a cohort leader in the Secondary Dual Educator Program and a faculty member on the CEEDAR project at PSU. My research focuses on critical and intersectional approaches to inclusive teacher preparation. I seek to understand the ways in which inclusive teacher preparation can be a tool for disrupting dominant ideologies that construct “normalcy” in urban school systems.
I received my doctoral degree in special education from the University of Kansas in 2017. My dissertation entitled, (Re)Constituting Teacher Identity for Inclusion in Urban Schools: A Process of Reification and Resistance, explored how recent graduates of an inclusive preparation program engaged in the process of identity development as they navigated the tensions between their preparation experiences and their practice contexts.
I was recently awarded a Dean's Funds of Excellence grant from PSU to fund my project, The Art of the Possible: Developing New Teachers’ Pedagogies of Possibility for Inclusion Through Think College Academic Coaching. This project will explore how academic coaching through the Think College Inclusion Oregon (TCIO) program mediates teacher candidate inclusive teacher identity development. This work will build on my dissertation by exploring how recent graduates' engage in pedagogy of possibility, which means teaching towards “possibilities not yet realized” (Giroux & Simon, 1988, p. 17). Indeed, most educational institutions remain impervious to inclusion. The extent to which new teachers draw on inclusive identities indicates a sense of possibility for a more just and inclusive educational and social landscape.
Prior to pursuing my PhD, I taught special education in New York City. I have experience in both traditional public and charter schools. While teaching, I earned my Masters in Special Education and Leadership from the City College of New York. In addition, I am a Teach for America alumna and hold a New York State Professional Teaching Certification.
When you get, give. When you learn, teach. - Maya Angelou