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Student Profiles

Doctoral Students

 Eulogio Alejandre

Eulogio Alejandre

Hometown: Ogden, Utah

Degree: B.A. in Secondary Education, M.S. in Language Acquisition

Research Interests: Education Equity, Undocumented Students' Access to Education, Language Acquisition, and Dual Immersion Language Education.

Hobbies Interests: Hiking, Sports, specifically soccer and football

Favorite Quote: All words have the 'taste' of a profession, a genre, a tendency, a party, a particular work, a particular person, a generation, an age group, the day, and hour. Each word tastes of the context and contexts in which it has lived its socially charged life... Bakhtin 1981:293


Josephine Amoakoh

Josephine Amoakoh

Hometown: Ghana, West Africa

Degree: M.Ed. Education, Culture & Society

Research Interests: As an African from a multilingual society with over 45 dialects, I am highly interested in issues related to language learning such as language ideologies and policies and how they impact the academic and social lives of students from diverse background. I am also interested in the assessment of English language learners in mainstream classrooms and have been the instructor for ECS 5645/6645 (Assessment of Linguistically Diverse Population) for the past two years. 

Hobbies/Interests: Teaching & singing

Adrienne Andrews

Adrienne Andrews

Hometown: South Weber, UT

Degree: M.S. Women's Studies; M.A Political Science

Research Interests: social justice movements and activity; leveraging institutions of higher learning to cultivate community through education; building community through civic engagement, cross-cultural conflict resolution and mediation; community development through service learning and so much more.

Hobbies/Interests: I love to create - quilting, knitting, spinning wool, writing, paper crafting and the list goes on. I love to travel - I'm at 47 countries and counting. I believe in service work, listening and creating spaces for critical conversations. I also love to spend time with my partner and playing Cribbage.

Interesting fact: I am bionic - I have a titanium plate and four screws holding up my head, this means that I am lots of fun at the airport! I climbed to the Tiger's Nest in Bhutan. I lived in a convent for a year and was not a novice or a Catholic.  

chad beyer

Chad Beyer

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Degree: M.ED. Social Justice Education

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

 Okony Cham

Okony Cham

Hometown: Rochester, Minnesota

Previous degrees: M.S. Community Health Education and M.P.A. Public Administration

Research Interests: Critical Race Theory; assessment of ‘health, well-being and educational disparities’ among refugee/immigrants in the pursuit of higher education along educational pipeline

Hobbies/Interests: Civic engagement

Favorite Quote: “The only thing that stands between a person and what they want in life is the will to try it and the faith to believe it's possible”      -Rich Devos

 Augustin Diaz

Augustin Diaz

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Research Interests: - Critical Rhetoric and Critical Race Theory, Pacific Islander and Latin@/Chican@ youth and family educational decision-making, 12-16 pipeline; higher-education, School-community-family partnerships, storytelling

Hobbies/Interests: Spending time with family; Game of thrones; reading Afro-Latino literature, Indigenous histories, and poetry--globs of it; Ancient military history fan; Age of Empires game fanatic; Immigration activism...and lately really interested in documenting the relationships between Pacific Islander and Latin@/Chican@ youth.

Favorite Quote: By Drey Vazquez (ECS Alumni) "I'm going to write an open letter to my hair, and apologize for the many times I complained about it, and the many times my parents tried to tame it…they didn't know better. And I'm going to try to explain to it that yes, womyn love it, and yes everyone wants to touch it, but that it also makes people uncomfortable. That it scares people. That it scares people because in it you can find traces of my mother, and her grandmother, and all the womyn before that. That in this map you can outline a genealogy all the way back to that muxer that was enslaved, brought to the center of the world, beaten and sold. A womxn so powerful, they had to make sure we never knew who she was."


Kona Eldredge

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Undergraduate: University of Utah

Major: Linguistics (TESOL Certificate) & B.A. International Studies

Research Interests: I have lived in two different countries and been exposed to two different languages and cultures. For this reason, I have naturally become interested in bilingual. biliteracy, and bicultural education. As an immigrant myself and English teacher for immigrants (mostly refugees), I am highly interested in language and culture education for immigrants as well.

Interesting Fact: Used to sing in a Jazz band.


Melissa Flores

Hometown: Provo, Utah

Research: Racial battle fatigue; critical race theory

Hobbies/Interests: Movies, traveling, reading, and hanging out with my family


Cara Greenwell

Hometown: West Jordan, utah

Research Interests: Bilingual/Bicultural Education, Borderlands Theory, Testimonio, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.

Hobbies or Interests: Running, Tennis, Teaching


Steven Heise

Research: Free speech, critical pedagogy, affirmative action pedagogy, critical race theory, whiteness studies

Favorite Quote: "We are responsible beyond our intentions." - E. Levinas


Jake Hinckley

Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah 

Research Interests: Educational Philosophy, Critical Pedagogy, Culturally Relevant/Multicultural Education, Comparative Education, Ecological Education, Cross-Cultural Conflict, Cultural/national Identity & Globalization. 

Hobbies and Interests: Aspiring farmer, avid outdoors-man, windsurfer, snowboarder, and geocacher. 


Nancy Huante

Hometown: Stockton, California

Research Interests: My areas of research include but are not limited to Chicana Feminist Epistemologies, Decolonial Feminist Theory, Curandera Praxis, U.S. Third World Feminisms, Community-based learning, race and schooling.

Interesting Fact: I was born in Zacapu, Michoacan Mexico, usually takes people by surprise that I was born in Mexico.

Hobbies or Interests: I like to watch and play soccer. I like to travel when money and time are available. My favorite show is Dancing with the Stars. I actually am hooked on music videos. I enjoy visiting the beach and I like to spend time with family, especially my daughter Cataleya.

Favorite thing about Utah: I really enjoy the view of the mountains and the opportunities to explore the outdoors but I still wouldn't trade Utah for California :)


Cindy Huynh

Hometown: San Jose, California

Research Interests: US Third World Feminism, Hip-Hop Feminist Pedagogy, Critical and Culturally Relevant Pedagogies.

Interesting Fact: I am a big fan of mixed martial arts and a practitioner of Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing)!

Hobbies and Interests: I love cooking, traveling, drawing, and cheering on the best team in the universe, the Golden State Warriors.

Favorite Thing about Utah: The public transportation and abundance of local coffee shops and eateries!

Anne Innis

Anne Innis

Hometown: Newville, Pennsylvania

Research Interests: Microaggression toward Indigenous Peoples, Cultural Violence, De-colonial and Anti-colonial Theory, Coloniality of Power, Critical Constructivism

Hobbies/Interests: I’m a wannabe urban homesteader with a love of heirloom vegetables. I also enjoy hiking with my partner and three fearless children.

Favorite Quote: “He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” -- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, "Love in the Time of Cholera"    "Give me a condor's quill! Give me Vesuvius' crater for an inkstand! Friends, hold my arms!" -- Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"

Jake Jobe

Jacob Jobe

Hometown: Missoula, Montana

Research Interests: Postcolonial and Neocolonial theories, Third Space Theory and applications in the classroom, English Learners and immigrant students in content-area classrooms, Native American students in secondary classrooms. 

Hobbies/Interests: Skiing, backpacking, playing and coaching soccer, trail running and marathons, Real Salt Lake fan, literature and poetry.

Jimmy Kendall

Jimmy Kendall

Hometown: Lafayette, CA
Research Interests: Pedagogies of consumption, neoliberal educational reform, social justice studies, critical race theory, queer/radical pedagogy, whiteness pedagogy, performativity, rhetorics of destabilization and resistance, culture jamming.

Hobbies/Interests: Reading, writing, teaching, biking, fishing, skiing, finding time to explore the great outdoors, digging for good vinyl, music and more music. 

Ashley Seitz-Kramer

Ashley Seitz Kramer

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Degree: M.A. English, M.F.A. Writing

Research Interests: Literacy studies and L2 learning, writing/center pedagogy, the creative arts, narrative theory, feminist studies, equality and diversity in higher education, community engagement/advocacy

Hobbies/Interests: Hiking, biking, camping, reading, writing poetry and fiction, loving and protecting animals, volunteering, all things epistolary

Interesting Fact: My first full-length book of poetry, Museum of Distance, won the Zone 3 Press First Book Award and comes out in September 2015. I’ve taught college English/writing courses for over a decade and have worked in college administration for over 6 years.

German Lopez

German Lopez

Hometown: South Jordan, Utah

Research Interests: Student Dropout, Leadership

Hobbies/Interests: Movies, music, food

Favorite Quote: Never Let Schooling Interfere With Your Education, Mark Twain

 Loni Manning

Loni Manning

Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah

Degree: Graphic Arts, Museum Studies, University Studies, Education, Communication

Institute of American Indian Arts, Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, San Juan College

Research Interests: Indigenous language revitalization programs. Cultural museum education and community involvement. Indigenous visual rhetoric and visual art in education. Indigenous giftedness identification and evaluation.

Interesting Fact: I've met more than 30 movie stars and heads of state

Hobbies or Personal Interests: Arts/Music-sumi-e ink painting; botanical illustration; photography; bead work; woodcarving; weaving; pottery; guitar, native flute; song-writing; Hawaiian, Japanese, and Navajo art, music, languages and dancing. Sports/Outdoor-camping, fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, gardening. 


Andrea Garavito Martinez

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Research Interests: My areas of interest are critical race policy analysis, feminist genealogy, Chicana Feminist Thought, feminist epistemology, community-school partnerships, and critical race theory.

Hobbies or Interests: Hiking. Eating. Cooking.



Socorro Morales

Hometown: Fontana, California

Research Interests: Chicana feminism, critical race theory, and student residence. 

Hobbies or Interests: Running, Hiking and outdoor activities. I also enjoy mixing music.


Danny Piper

Hometown: Kaysville, UT

Undergraduate: Cultural Anthropology

Research Interests: Reversing language shift and counteracting language oppression, Language policy and planning, Indigenous second language acquisition, Educational linguistics, Indigenous bilingual and bicultural curriculum, Minority language rights, Historical and modern context of American Indian Education, Critical Indigenous theory. 

Hobbies/Interests: Reading, drawing, playing music, and exploring the outdoors.

Interesting fact: Novice Celtic harpist


Analis Carattini-Ruiz

Hometown: Lehi, Utah

Degree: Masters in k-12 Administration and Supervision

University of Phoenix

Research Interests: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Education Segregation and Inequities, Social Justice, Bilingual Programs and Dual Immersion Programs.

Interesting Fact: Born and raised in Puerto Rico

Hobbies or Personal Interests: Loves Latin music and dancing. My hobby is Crossfit!


Graham Slater

Hometown: Greensboro, North Carolina

Research Interests: My research focuses on contemporary educational policies and reforms that support a border 'neoliberal' political and social agenda that aims to privatize public or 'common' institutions, resources, and relationships, and works to produce students subjectives that internalize and embody a logic of competitive individualism. Drawing upon philosophical, historical, and sociological approaches to critical educational theory, my work seeks to reconceptualize education as a project of collective struggles for autonomy: the social production of collaborative futures outside and against the logics of domination, capital, patriarchy, racism, coloniality, and human supremacy.

 Elizabeth Silva

Elizabeth Silva

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Degree: Master of Arts, Language Literacy Sociocultural Studies Concentration in Education Thought Sociocultural Studies; Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Spanish; Minor in Psychology

University of New Mexico

My general intellectual interests include analysis of generational, educational achievement among students of color, specifically regarding the emerging complex “Latina/o/x” identity and its racial implications in contemporary United States.  In my work I identify places where the relationship between racialized bodies and the evolvement of social structural hierarchies of race are evident, specifically, how colonialism and “colorism” work to frame the identity constructions of Latinidades.  My research is aimed at situating race as a focal point in identity politics.  I look to the ways in which the performance or different performances of Latinidad(es) might work to counter and disrupt social reproduction that negatively impacts marginalized communities.  I also look to theories of “Global Souths” as well biopolitics and assemblages to think through social constructions of identity.  My work was inspired in Latinidades, and the prospects of the United States as a new “Latino Majority” country, with potential for political identity construction that works to destabilize the racial colonial project. This is not an illusory imagining in terms of creating colorblindness, rather–it is an attempt to portray the ways that we weave notions of self within this (coming) space and time, that moves the brave work of antiracist articulations.

Gardner Seawright

Hometown: Heber City, Utah

Research Interests: I study the impacts and presence of whiteness and white supremacy throughout schooling and educational structures, as well as the possibilities of challenging this reality. I give particular attention to the epistemology of white supremacy and how it manifests and comes to bear on the lives of students, teachers, and communities. This larger framework informs ongoing projects that consider the possibilities of place-based education, learning gardens, the potential and limits to while allyship, the contemporary relevance of W.E.B Du Bois, implementation of Common Core, disrupting whiteness in teacher education, among others.

Hobbies and Interests: I really enjoy cooking, gardening and preserving (canning [especially pickling!]), in addition to some amateur wood-working (I love making picture frames) and exploring the streets of Salt Lake City with my spouse. 

eliot sykes

Eliot Sykes

Hometown: Andover, Massachusetts

Research Interests: Critical Race Theory, Multiculturalism, Colonialism, Curative Education

Interesting Fact: I like building bicycles

Favorite thing about Utah: The clean air during the winter.


Ulysses Tonga'onevai

Hometown: West Valley,Ut

Degree: Master's Education

Research: Race and Sport, Sociology of Sport, Immigration and Education, Pacific Islander Education

 Hobbies/Interests: Spending time with my spouse and children, bodybuilding, football & rugby coaching, strength and agility training for youth and college athletes, research topics related to both Pacific Islander & American history, community service projects, cooking Polynesian BBQ and eating!

 Favorite Quote: "Don't forget your history, nor your destiny" Bob Marely


Robert Unzueta

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Research Interests: Coloniality, Discipline Policies, Du Boisan Theory, Decolonial philosophies, Marxism.

Interesting Fact: I'm a jedi in training and committed to the rebel alliance

Favorite thing about Utah: The snow

tanjerine vei

Tanjerine Vei

Hometown: South Weber, Utah 

Research Interests: Critical media literacy, identity-based curriculum, and healing in education. 

Interesting Fact: I love plants. A lot. 

Hobbies or Interests: Painting and other mixed media visual arts. 

Favorite thing about Utah: The mountains, seasons, and Utah's delightful plant life. 

 Elizabeth VanSant-Webb

 Elizabeth VanSant-Webb

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas

Research: Education equity, language learners and school culture, neoliberal educational reforms, teacher education, language policy and practice, whiteness pedagogy, and culturally responsive pedagogy

Hobbies: Reading, singing, playing the piano, opera, and traveling

Quote: "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."--James Thurber


Justin Grant Whitney

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas 

Research Interests: Language and power.

 Adelmira Ynostroza

Adelmira Ynostroza

Hometown: Texas

Degree: M.Ed. in Biliteracy/Curriculum instruction

University of Texas at Austin

Research Interests: Hornberger's biliteracy and transnationalism are of great interest to me. I taught for 13 years as an elementary teacher and throughout my career experienced many inner-identity conflicts. As a bilingual educator, I am responsible for the community. Critical Race Theory is with me every day. As a bilingual educator I witness racial oppression and the negotiations in the curriculum. This area is of great interest to me as I study Soloranzo, Delgado and Ladson-Billings.

Interesting Fact: Texas & Border History

Hobbies or Personal Interests: I love to create poetry, write novels and paint on canvas. Most of my creations are tied to my Transnational identity. I enjoy being a hyphen!

Master's Students

 Chelsea Acosta

Chelsie Acosta

Hometown: Grants, New Mexico

Undergraduate: Weber State University

Major: Health Promotion/Minor Nutrition

Research Interests: Latino Issues (Education/Immigration), Native American Education, LGBT issues

Interesting Fact: Fluent in American Sign Language

 Nathan Barnum

Nathan Barnum

Hometown: San Diego, Ca

Hobbies/Interests: Family, Outdoors, Teaching  

 Caitlyn Boyce

Caitlyn Boyce

Hometown: Lehi, Utah

Research Interests: international education, educational equity, ESL education

Hobbies/Interests: languages, baking, my cat

Favorite Quote: "The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows." -Sydney J. Harris

david cofie

David Cofie

Hometown: Bortianor, Accra, Ghana

Undergraduate: Theatre Studies

Research Interests: Female child education in economically challenged societies, Educating the visually impaired in developing countries, Survival of Afrocentric education under systemic racism, How America's educational system can accommodate educating children, adopted from other cultures, about their roots. 

Hobbies/Interests: Cooking, Drumming, African dance, Soccer coaching, Storytelling, Fiction writing, Poetry, Songwriting, Acting and watching karaoke.

Interesting fact: I wish someone will publish this novel I just finished writing!


Alexi Crabb

Hometown: Orem, UT

Undergraduate: Psychology

Research Interests: I am interested in gender inequality, social inequality, and feminist theories in higher education. I am also interested in Critical Race Theory, socioeconomics, the status and role of women in education, and making higher education more accessible to a broader range of students.

Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy running, reading, and spending time outdoors. I love independent films and watching documentaries.

gabriella cuba

Gabriella Cubas

Hometown: Salt Lake City

Undergraduate: Sociology & Political Science with certificates in criminology/corrections and practical politics

Research Interests: Dual Language Learners, Bi-Cultural Children, Early Childhood Education, Literacy among primary educators (parents) and how it affects student performance. 

Hobbies/Interests: Cooking, Soccer, Photography


Roxanna Curiel

Hometown:  Cudahy, Ca

Research Interests: Educational policy; feminist theory; race, gender, and sexuality studies; reproductive health and justice; youth culture; media literacy

Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy running, playing tennis, and participating in team sports. My interests include learning about alternative medicine and herbal remedies, co-creating zines and other popular education inspired activities, and cooking and sharing recipes with friends.

Favorite Quote: "Beware: Ignorance Protects itself. Ignorance Promotes suspicion. Suspicion Engenders fear. Fear quails, Irrational and blind, Or fear looms, Defiant and closed. Blind, closed, Suspicious, afraid, Ignorance Protects itself, And protected, Ignorance grows." Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents

 Alec Down

Alec Down

Hometown: London, England

Research Interests: Postcolonial theory, feminist studies, queer theory, and issues of equity and social justice, narrative theory, multiculturalism and questions of identity

Hobbies/ Interests: Cooking, travelling, road biking

Favorite Quote: "The moment we choose to love, we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love, we begin to move toward freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others." –bell hooks


Susie Estrada

Hometown: North Hollywood, California

Undergraduate: California State University

Major: Psychology, Childcare Administration

Research Interests: Interested in researching how today's media affects our youths world view in both positive and negative ways. I would like to know how to use these areas of interest for our youth and how to use them as tools for their academic success.

Interesting Fact: Feels more comfortable driving in reverse than forward.


Julie Hamilton

 Research Interests: I am interested most in studying more about Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy and how we, as educators, can validate and build upon the vast cultural backgrounds of our students within our classroom. Our students need to know that they come to our classrooms not as empty canisters waiting to be filled, but rather they bring with them a richness that can help strengthen and inspire their learning journey as well as the journey of their peers. I am in this program to learn how to create such a classroom and see how it plays into student achievement.

 Hobbies/ Interests: I LOVE to be outside! Hiking, running, swimming, riding a bike, or simply sitting at a beautiful look out. I also love music as it can create a beautiful escape from the stresses of life. My life tends to be so fast-paced with full time work and graduate school, that if I can ever get a break I will spend it doing more low-key activities. :)

 Favorite Quote: "The planet does not need more 'successful people'. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds. It needs people with moral courage willing to join the struggle to make the world habitable and humane and these qualities have little to do with success as our culture is the set. "-The Dalai Lama

 guiseppe huaman

Giusseppe Huaman

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Undergraduate: Communication

Research Interests: Race, equality and diversity in Higher Education
Latino families and education
The learning process

Hobbies/Interests: Playing volleyball, cooking, running and eating! I love fries!

andrea hernandez

Andrea Stephanie Hernandez

Hometown: Oxnard, CA

Undergraduate: Liberal Studies with an option in Bilingual/ Cross-Cultural Education

Research Interests: High school after school programs that implement grass roots organizing and their effectiveness in the success of graduation rates for students in alternative schooling
-Sexual education programs that can provide Latinas access to resources about sexual health and could possibly be implemented at the high school level to provide sexual education and information about contraceptives
-Sexual education programs in the alternative school that help with retention rates of young Latina students
-Culturally relevant same sex education that help with retention rates of queer students in continuation schools
-Impacts these programs have upon marginalized Latino student populations versus programs offered in traditional education systems.

Hobbies/Interests: When I am not hitting the books, researching, or writing, I love to dance, swim, or cook. My favorite de-stresser is painting or doing any type of arts and crafts. I have picked up a lot of tools along the way and love to help out my friends, family, and community in anyway I can.

Interesting fact: I like to watch anything that are in the genres of the supernatural, crime, or food.


Lisa Molina

Hometown: SLC, Utah

Research Interests: Critical Race theory, participatory action research, and Gender and sexuality.

Hobbies/Interests: I like to dance salsa, merengue, and bachata in my spare time. I enjoy baking. I like to hike and enjoy the view of the Wasatch mountains.

Stephanie Quinn

Stephanie Quinn

Hometown: Clinton, Utah

Research Interests: Multicultural education, Indigenous education, refugee education, ESL, advocacy and activism for LGBT and underrepresented students.

Hobbies/Interests: Traveling, hiking, cooking, exercising, learning languages, spending time with family.

Favorite Quote: "Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart." - Native American Proverb



Darah Snow

Hometown: Mililani, Hawaii

Undergraduate: Utah Valley University

Major: Criminal Justice/Criminal Law Concentration

Research Interests: Areas that relate to Pacific Islanders, within and outside of education, and the obstacles and struggles that hinder them from pursuing higher education. Being a Pacific Islander woman, I want to be able to help my people understand that they are capable of doing anything. my father's example has allowed me to understand and prove that I can do the same, and I want to be able to instill this among other Pacific Islander students.

Interesting Fact: If possible, I would adopt all the stray dogs in the world.


Allison Spehar

Hometown: Bountiful, Utah

Research Interests: Social Justice in Art, Gender, Microaggressions

Hobbies/Interests: Dance, baking, books and coffee

Favorite Quote: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." Desmon Tutu

karen trevino

Karen Trevino

Hometown: Eagle Pass, TX

Undergraduate: Bachelors in Early Childhood/Special Education

Research Interests: Bilingual Education, Dual Immersion Programs, Education and Immigration, Immigrant Issues, Hispanic Issues in Education 

Hobbies/Interests: Ballet Folklorico (Mexican Folk Dance), soccer, latin music, cooking and zumba.

Interesting Fact: I grew up in Piedras Negras, Coahuila Mexico.


 Erika Zavala

Erika Zavala

Hometown: Watsonville, California

Research Interests: The impact of family involvement and culture in education, as well as the educational pipeline.

Hobbies/Interests: I love: spending time with my family, having fun, and relaxing when I can.

Favorite Quote: Si Se Puede! (Yes you/we can!)


Last Updated: 5/18/17