Da'Shay Templeton

Assistant Professor, California Lutheran University
Ford Fellow. AERA Fellow. PEO International Scholar.

Assistant Professor, California Lutheran University (2023 - present)
Ph.D., Higher Education & Quantitative Methodology, 
  • Dissertation Directors
  • Dissertation Articles
    • Paper 1: The laying on of hands: Discriminatory animus in school discipline procedures. 
    • Paper 2: Class dismissed: The effect of differential state aid on (school) criminalization. 
    • Paper 3: Are anti-Indigenous and anti-gender expansive biases lessening in the US?: Evidence from an experiment.
  • Honors: summa cum laude
  • Graduation date: June 1, 2023
San Francisco State University, 2012 – 2015
MA, English,
Teaching of Composition Certificate,
Teaching of Post-Secondary Reading Certificate,
Honors: summa cum laude

California State University, Northridge, 2010 – 2012
BA, English, 
Honors: magna cum laude

College of the Canyons, 2006 – 2010
Lower-division transfer requirements met at a California Community College

My nana was educated (and so primarily equipped) to raise children. After her husband abandoned her, she had to flee Puerto Rico with her seven children to a Los Angeles project. My mother learned as she lived—in poor, policed communities until she dropped out of junior high. When she was sixteen, she had me. In another life, in another America, in a first-world country where governments dedicate much of their substantial capital to public education, she would have been a trauma surgeon. She worked swing shifts as a hospital clerk and devoured all the informal knowledge available to her.

My family hustled hard for all of us: three families, seventeen people in a three-bedroom trailer. My cousins, younger siblings, and I ate cereal for breakfast, free cafeteria food for lunch, and top ramen for dinner. My nana made arroz con guandules and pollo guisado for us on special occasions. Sometimes, she’d slice up a mango and hand it out to us like a sacred offering. We’d savor it, skin and all.

There was loss, pain, and terror too because those are characters in any novel of poverty. Some of us dropped out of high school. Some of us had children when we were children. Some of us were stolen/imprisoned/killed. One of us went to college. I went—singularly focused on pulling my people out of poverty by becoming a faculty researcher and catalyzing systemic change in education. Through teaching, research, and service, I will demand America’s public-school-promise-of-equal-opportunity for my people and the oppressed.

My educational journey began in global majority schools that were poor, policed, and public. However, like most poor folk, I experienced high mobility in my youth, and so for a brief time, I attended an all-White open enrollment school in a wealthy neighborhood. The quality of education was so extremely superior that it was like being in an alternate reality. I still had roaches crawling out of my backpack, but for a brief time, I was exposed to a higher caliber of education. I want(ed) to bring that opportunity back home to my people.

My college education began at a California community college where I struggled with remedial courses, worked three jobs to support myself and my family, and tried to navigate convoluted transfer pathways. Eventually, I transferred to Cal State Northridge, a minority serving institution. It felt like coming home. For the first time, I had a Black American teacher and was surrounded by like-minded members of my community who were similarly committed to social justice. Still, the longer I was in college, the more I realized that to effect change on a larger scale I needed to influence policy—offer solutions that changed every classroom, not just the ones I was lucky enough to teach. I came to Florida State University to study public policy.

My greatest ambition was to become a tenured faculty researcher at a leading university, so that I could catalyze systemic reforms in public education through teaching, research, and service. Throughout my academic tenure and teaching career, I have been singularly committed to helping the oppressed through public education. As an Afro Latina with Taíno ancestry, a first-generation college student, and a queer disabled mother of three boys, I hold multiple socially subordinated identities. Such that I understand the systemic barriers facing oppressed student groups in education (e.g., limited financial resources, implicit and explicit biases, and non-privileged capital). I am an outlier because I am one of the few who has enjoyed academic and professional success. And yet, I believe in the transformational capacities of public education to improve the lives of the least-advantaged youth and communities. Principally, I am excited to animate the promise of equal opportunity in public education to improve livelihoods for vulnerable youth.

My lived experience provides me with a critical understanding of equity and power. As such, I am well-positioned to educate the oppressed and increase their success in academia and beyond. Moreover, my doctoral program at Florida State University in Higher Education and Quantitative Methodology has trained me for a future in faculty. More specifically, I am now a critical mixed methodologist, theorist, and experimentalist. It is my greatest ambition to become a tenured faculty researcher at a leading university so that I can enact individual, institutional, structural, and systemic change in education through teaching, research, and service.

Image: A brown skinned woman is staring intently at the camera with a small smile. She has wavy brown hair parted to one side. She wears a cardigan, a feather earring, a black shirt, and a mustard cardigan. 

Current Research. How psychological processes and public policies affect educational outcomes in school discipline has been a central thread in the research questions I have investigated and continue to investigate. In current studies, I aim to produce a series of experimental, qualitative, and theoretical pieces. Experimental work in school discipline is nascent, but crucial to addressing discipline disparities. I aim to use critical theories to predict and test racial and social stratification in school discipline outcomes across multiple unique online experiments that investigate the use of corporal punishment, restraint, seclusion, suspension, and special education designations in American schools. My theoretical pieces will posit a crisis of theory in school discipline scholarship and promote Critical Race Theory, Racial Threat Theory, TribQuit, Trans* Studies, Queer Criminology, DisCrit, and my own theories as viable theories for advancing school discipline explanatia and progress. My qualitative work explores the impact of unethical discipline tactics on the American public such as answering critical questions like how does corporal punishment impact vulnerable youth. Additionally, I interview principals and superintendents to better understand how school personnel in positions of power discipline and understand vulnerable youth mainly Black American, American Indian, disabled, and gender expansive students. I have begun focusing on discipline disparities and how they differ by various states including Mississippi and Oklahoma. Theoretically, I am in the process of developing several theories that explore the deleterious consequences of holding intersecting identities particularly as it relates to school discipline disparities. By posing critical questions about and creating new theories that explain how restraint, seclusion, corporal punishment, in school removal, and suspension impact American Indian, Black American, disabled, gender expansive, cis gender girls and boys, and two spirits children, I aim to advance social justice and test America’s public-school-promise-of-equal-opportunity against its disparate treatment of oppressed school children. Moreover, I aim to inform policy and the public by disseminating my research in open access, peer reviewed journals and the to American public more generally through newspapers, blogs, and podcasts.

Dissertation Research. My dissertation research contributes to the theoretical development of Critical Race Theory and further advances its potential as a causal model for education policy and bias analyses. Critical Race Theory is crucial to animating the promise of social science to protect and preserve all children’s humanity—not just some of them. My critical quantitative research tests the extent to which Critical Race Theory can explain how material and ideological forces of white supremacy (in school criminalization) disparately impact oppressed schoolchildren. As a Critical Race Theorist, I research disparities in public education by assessing the effectiveness of policies and programs on vulnerable youth. My multimethod dissertation studies alternately employ secondary analysis of large-scale state and national longitudinal datasets as well as designing and analyzing original experimental data.

As the start of an early career line of research on racial and social stratification in public schools in America, my Critical Quantitative dissertation prioritizes the historical and contemporary experiences of public school students in California who are Black, Indigenous, Latina/o/x, cis gender, and gender expansive. In this process, I leverage my lived experience as an Afro-Latina mother of three brown boys and a former poor and policed public school student from Los Angeles to critically contextualize the quantitative data I’ve sourced on these schoolchildren against the reality of my own schoolchildhood.

I do not believe in single-issue oppression. Instead, as a Critical Theorist and Critical Quantitative methodologist, my lived experience directs my research pursuits. Currently, the research projects I lead focus on neurologically and neurodevelopmentally atypical, Indigenous, and two-spirits children. With Critical Theories and Critical Quantitative methodology, I can and will test America’s public-school-promise-of-equal-opportunity against its disparate treatment of oppressed school children.

Doctoral Research Opportunities.  I have had the privilege of working under the supervision and guidance of my dissertation directors: Drs. Lara Perez-Felkner and James Wright. My research collaborations with them explore how financial support can improve the academic success of college students experiencing food and housing insecurity as well as how bureaucratic representation can improve police and civilian interactions. These studies alternately employ secondary analysis of large-scale state and national longitudinal datasets and content analysis of internal institutional student data, original experimental data, observational survey data, and interview methodology. 

2024 California Lutheran University Graduate School of Education's Small Research Grant, $1,000

2024 Helping Hands' Social Justice Award$24,000

2023 California Lutheran University's Faculty Development & Inclusive Excellence Grant, $1,500

2023 California Lutheran University's Hewlett Grant, $1,000

2023 Federation of American Scientists' Civil Rights Data Science Impact Fellow finalist, $160,000

2022 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Ford Dissertation Fellowship, $28,000

2022 American Education Research Association's Research Grant, $27,500

2022 American Education Research Association's Minority Dissertation Fellowship, $25,000

2022 International Philanthropic Education Organization's PEO Scholar Award$20,000


Jenkins, L., Marks, L.R., Perez-Felkner, L., Verma, K., Templeton, D., Thomas, J. (2024). Applying the Bystander Intervention Model to Racial Microaggressions in College Students. International Journal of Bullying Prevention. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42380-024-00216-x.

Marks, L., Jenkins, L., Perez-Felkner, L., Templeton, D., & Verma, K. (2024). Social Cognitive Predictors of Bystander Intervention in Racial Microaggressions among College Students. Race and Social Problems. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-024-09412-2.

Wright, J., Gaozhao, D., Dukes, K., & Templeton, D. (2022). The power of protests: An experiment of Black Lives Matter protest presence and citizens’ perceptions of the police. Public Administration Review. https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.13498

Holton, A., Perez-Felkner, L., & Templeton, D. (2022). How do institutional type and transfer affect contemporary college students' degree attainment. Community College Journal of Research and Practice. https://doi.org/10.1080/10668926.2022.2156633. 

Templeton, D. (2025) [Forthcoming]. Gender Expansive Students and the School-to-Prison Nexus. In Roberts, L. (ed.), The Sage International Encyclopedia of Politics and Gender (Vol. #, pp. #-#). Sage Publications, Inc.

Templeton, D. (revise & resubmit). [Title blinded for peer review]. Educational Researcher. 

Templeton, D. (revise & resubmit). [Title blinded for peer review]. Journal of Race Ethnicity, and Education.

Templeton, D. and Korchagin, R. (under review). [Title blinded for peer review]. AERA Open

Templeton, D. (under review). [Title blinded for peer review]. Journal of Race Ethnicity, and Education.

Templeton, D. and Korchagin, R. (submitted). [Title blinded for peer review]. Teachers College Record 

Templeton, D. and Korchagin, R. (submitted). [Title blinded for peer review]. Frontiers of Education 

Templeton, D. (submitted). [Title blinded for peer review]. Disabilty Quarterly 

Templeton, D., Ford, J., Valla, B., and Korchagin, R. (submitted). [Title blinded for peer review]. Educational Researcher. 


Perez-Felkner, L., Rodriguez, S., & Fluker, C. (Eds.) (In press; expected 2024). Latin* Students in Engineering: An Intentional Focus on a Growing Population. Rutgers University Press.

     includes... Empirical Chapter 7: Perez-Felkner, L., Fluker, C., & Templeton, D. (in press). A critical mixed methods analysis of Latin* students in diverse contexts.

Perez-Felkner, L., Acosta, J., Fluker, C., and Templeton, D., & Pacheco, D. (contracted). Student success for Latino/a students. In S. Hu  & Joe O'Shea (Eds.). The Handbook for Postsecondary Student Success.

                                                                                                OTHER WORKS

Portis, D. (2016). Strong city. In Kushner, R. & 826 National (Eds). The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 (The Best American Series ®). pp. 178–180. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 

Portis, D. (2015). Room to room. In Savo, S. & Nash, R. (Eds). Fourteen Hills, 21(2). pp. 20– 23. San Francisco State University Review. 

Portis, D. (2014). Our reconstruction. Atherton Review. pp 12-38. Menlo Poetry Team. 

Portis, D. (2015). Long Live the Queen; Scottie Doesn’t Play Excerpt. In Savo, S. & Nash, R. (Eds). Fourteen Hills, 21(2). pp. 20-31. San Francisco State University Review. 

Portis, D. (2014). This is not my mother. In Monique Mero-Williams (Ed.). ekphrasis. pp. 5-23. San Francisco State University Review.https://doi.org/10.1080/10668926.2022.2156633https://doi.org/10.1080/10668926.2022.2156633https://doi.org/10.1080/10668926.2022.2156633https://doi.org/10.1080/10668926.2022.2156633

I graduated summa cum laude with certificates in Teaching of Composition and Teaching of Post-Secondary Reading from San Francisco State University’s renowned Integrated Reading and Writing Program. In my thirteen years as an educator, I have taught at non-profits, prisons, minority-serving institutions, small liberal arts colleges, and predominately white-serving institutions (see select courses below).

Research Tools
Quantitative Methods
Adult basic education I & II;     
Freshman composition reading;
Freshman composition writing;
Fundamentals of creative reading;
Fundamentals of creative writing;
General educational development
   test preparation I
Approaches to university writing A;
Course design in composition and post-secondary reading;
Craft of poetry;
Diversity in higher education;
Extemporaneous expository writing;
Graduate seminar in teaching integrated reading and writing; 
Introduction to composition theory;
Outcomes in assessment in higher education II

It has been my privilege to work with and learn from students who belong to underrepresented groups, including those who are 1.5 generation learners, disabled, first-generation, imprisoned, living in poverty, neurologically atypical, racially minoritized, and English language learners. With my professional preparation and employment, I thrive as a tenured research faculty member at any university committed to social justice. I have been trained and am fully qualified to teach a wide array of research methodology courses in both critical quantitative and qualitative paradigms.

I have a collaborative, apprenticeship style teaching philosophy. I prioritize comprehension (not memorization) and improvement (not perfection). As such, my grading system is collaborative. I cultivate collaborative learning environments further by 1) Respecting atypical/typical forms of student participation, 2) Co-developing individualized education programs, 3) Soliciting criticism of my pedagogy, and 4) Dedicating consistent class time to fun, community building exercises. I scaffold my assignments, fold in multiple revision opportunities, and provide ongoing formative and summative feedback. I strive to sell my students on the subject matter, actuate their prior knowledge, and bolster their self-efficacy.

I understand the barriers facing oppressed student groups in education (e.g., limited financial resources and nonprivileged capital). As such, I assign Open Education Resources and champion Open Science—both are socially just movements that advocate for access and free knowledge. Additionally, I dissolve boundaries between conventional disciplines and narratives by using critical, transdisciplinary theory and content. To highlight, I generate diversified reading lists that reflect critical, historical, and global contributions to the subject matter. In keeping with social justice orientations, I contextualize my materials for real-world application by teaching skills transferable to both academic and professional settings.

Throughout my career, I benefitted from rigorous and extensive training in education and public policy as well as related fields of experimental psychology and sociology. My transdisciplinary training and expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methods enables me to speak comfortably across traditional academic boundaries and bridge collaboration across disciplines. My background as a racially minoritized researcher—with experience living and working in urban communities like Los Angeles—has been an asset for my ability to initiate research in public schools and disenfranchised communities, research that I would continue and build upon at my home institution.

2023 Florida State University’s Sherrill W. Ragan’s Leadership & Service Award

2023 National Center for Education Statistics Data Institute, finalist

2022 Florida State University's Fellow 

2022 Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness's Researcher of Color

Florida State University's Social Justice & Innovation Lab Dissertation Series Selection 

2017 Florida State University's Hardee Center for Leadership and Ethics in Higher Education Fellow

2016 Florida State University's Peer Leadership Award

Email: dtempleton at callutheran dot edu