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 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 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. My theoretical pieces will posit a crisis of theory in school discipline scholarship and promote Critical Race Theory, Racial Threat Theory, TribQuit, Queer Criminology, and DisCrit as viable theories for advancing school discipline explanatia and progress. I have begun focusing on discipline disparities in various states. Posing critical questions about 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 inform policy and the public by disseminating my research in open access, peer reviewed journals.

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 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 Race 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 Race Theory 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.

Assistantships. During my tenure at Florida State University, it has been my great honor to work as a research assistant for the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Office of Research.

  • Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs. I proposed and conducted longitudinal data analysis projects on FSU’s first-time-in-college student cohorts, the Campus Recreation’s facility student usage, the Counseling Center’s student usage and symptom severity, and Fraternity & Sorority Life’s GPA and graduation rates. I designed and implemented university-wide surveys for incoming freshman and transfer students on college expectations, orientation, food & housing insecurity, and staff surveys on racial climate and job satisfaction. I consulted departments regarding project design, data collection and analysis, and reporting results for internal and external constituents. I analyzed (and visualized) qualitative and quantitative data, disseminated findings, and created reports on student engagement within and across fifteen Division of Student Affairs departments. I have partnered with the Office of Institutional Research to merge and analyze academic data with engagement data to track student behaviors across departments, colleges, and years. I partnered with departments and divisions to conduct research related to student learning and success, focusing mainly on disparities in student engagement and providing recommendations for change. I disseminated knowledge of and promoted professional development opportunities for software such as Excel, Power BI, Stata, SPSS, and Qualtrics among staff across various departments.
  • Office of Research. I collaborated with the associate dean of research, grant editors, and staff on internal and external faculty funding opportunities and programs. I managed the Office of Research’s grant funding and faculty research databases by researching and updating relevant grant programs within the university and through national databases such as Pivot Funding Database and National Science Foundation. I performed literature reviews associated with funding opportunities and faculty grant participation. I edited book chapters, grant proposals, and other manuscripts for the associate dean of research and grant editors. I designed a monthly newsletter to inform faculty of potential funding opportunities and to prompt interdisciplinary collaboration across colleges. I planned and recorded weekly meetings with the associate dean of research and new faculty orientation as well as annual events such as poster sessions, three-minute thesis competitions, and interdisciplinary research panel events.