I began my teaching career as an Earth Science teacher. The majority of my secondary teaching experiences occurred at the Milton Hershey School, a private school in Hershey, PA. The student body population is comprised of children from families living in poverty from both urban and rural environments all throughout the United States. The school's mission is to nurture and educate the neediest of all children in America. My years of service at the Milton Hershey School ignited my enthusiasm and passion to work with diverse student populations and improve the educational experiences of marginalized students through enhanced teacher pedagogy and instruction.
I journeyed to Colorado to pursue my doctoral degree at the University of Colorado Boulder. During this time, I had the beautiful fortune of being able to learn and combine research principles with my teacher voice. I received a doctorate from the University of Colorado Boulder in Research on Teaching and Teacher Education, specializing in Curriculum and Instruction in Content Areas. My dissertation study analyzed the relationship between teacher beliefs, classroom milieu, subject matter, and enactment in bridging the language gap in the science classroom for English language learners; examining the extent to which teachers take on a dual role as teachers promoting English language and content proficiency.
Currently, I am the Director of Learning for the Culturally Responsive Urban Education (CRUE) Center, here at the University of Colorado Denver where I am responsible for the coordination and implementation of programs designed to address educational equity issues. Previously, I served as the Professional Learning Coordinator for the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt) and the National Institute for Urban School Improvement (NIUSI).
My Students at CU Denver
It is my hope that the students in my classes leave with a questioning, critical perspective. As I share with them my passion and commitment to issues of equity in education, I hope that I may inspire them to do the same in their classrooms and schools.
Classes I teach at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:
- Race, Class, and Culture in Public Schools - LLC 5170
- Working With Families and Communities - LLC 5180
- Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Practices - LLC 5190
- Methods and Materials of Language Teaching - LLC 5825
- Linguistic/Cultural Issues in Linking Assessment and Instruction - LLC 5050
- Secondary Literacy Instruction and Assessment - IPTE 4025/5025
- Teacher Education and Site Seminars - IPTE 4910/5910, 4911/5911, 4912/5912, 4913/5913, SPED 5910/5913
My Research Interests
- Sociocultural contexts of schools and classrooms
- Culturally responsive teaching and curriculum development
- Understanding the relationship between language, culture, and pedagogies of empowerment
- Literacy and content integration
Music has always been an important part of my life growing up singing with my family, playing the piano and violin. I now turn to music to find peace in the midst of the daily grind, from playing piano to singing with Harmony, A Colorado Chorale. I also find enjoyment in playing golf and riding my bike.
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