Assistant Professor, California Lutheran University (2023 - present)
Ph.D., Higher Education & Quantitative Methodology, GPA: 3.9/4.0
  • Dissertation Directors
  • Dissertation Articles
    • Paper 1: Templeton, D. The laying on of hands: Discriminatory animus in school discipline procedures. 
    • Paper 2: Templeton, D. Class dismissed: The effect of differential state aid on (school) criminalization. 
    • Paper 3: Templeton, D. Are anti-Indigenous and anti-gender expansive biases lessening in the US?: Evidence from an experiment.
  • Graduation date: June 1, 2023
    • Cumulative GPA: 3.96/4.0
San Francisco State University, 2012 – 2015
MA, English, GPA: 3.9/4.0
Teaching of Composition Certificate, GPA: 3.9/4.0
Teaching of Post-Secondary Reading Certificate, GPA: 4.0/4.0
Honors: summa cum laude

California State University, Northridge, 2010 – 2012
BA, English, GPA: 3.7/4.0
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 is to become a tenured faculty researcher at a leading university, so that I can 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 brown 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, theorists, and experimentalists. 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.