Dissertation Proposal Defense

I have successfully defended my dissertation proposal!


The tentative title for my dissertation is Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Racial Literacy Instruction in Secondary Teacher Education. I would like to thank my committee members (Drs. Enid Rosario-Ramos, Michelle Bellino, Maren Oberman, and Ruth Behar) for their help and support through this process.

GSCO at the SOE Information Fair

I had so much fun today representing the Graduate Student Community Organization (GSCO) with my brilliant co-chair Ebony Perouse-Harvey.

We are looking forward to a great year of community building with everyone here at the School of Education!

Check out our flyer below!

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GSCO 18-19

Click here to learn more about the Graduate Student Community Organization (GSCO).

Women of Color & The Academy

For the 2018-2019 academic year I will be co-coordinating a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop with my dear friend and colleague Ebony Perouse-Harvey (doctoral candidate, University of Michigan). I am excited to continue my fun and rigorous work with Ebony and our faculty sponsors Dr. Maisie Gholson (University of Michigan) and Dr. Maren Oberman (University of Michigan). Our workshop is titled "Women of Color & The Academy: Exploring Race, Research, Representation, and Positionality." 


This workshop series brings together education scholars and practitioners to examine issues related to race, research, and representation. Participants of this group work in various fields that intersect with education. Our work across these fields provides us varying insights into the representation and positioning of women of color within and outside of the university.  This workshop has two primary objectives:
- To expand what is considered to be academic by exposing the larger community to works created by or featuring women of color
- To provide spaces where women of color can engage deeply with issues that impact them personally and professionally in a way that is responsive to their identities, time, and energies

Click here to view the website for Women of Color & The Academy: Exploring Race, Research, Representation, and Positionality

Click here to learn more about Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshops

GSCO/BET Conference 2018

I have been accepted to present my paper "Comedic Counterstories: Performing Marginality" at the GSCO/BET Conference on March 9, 2018 at the University of Michigan School of Education.

This year's theme is "Pushing Back and Lifting Up: Inspiring Change Through Educational Research, Policy, and Practice."

What does it mean to push back, lift up, and inspire change? At the School of Education, we are a community of engaged scholars who do work through research, policy, and practice that resists contemporary inequities in education; offers innovative responses to entrenched social problems; and employs methodological approaches that critically question status quo interpretations of the past, present, and future. We are dedicated to lifting one another up and providing inclusive opportunities for members of our community to advance their scholarship.

Thank you to University of Michigan doctoral students Crystal Wise and Ashley Jackson for organizing this event.

Click here to learn more about this year's conference.

Presentation: Talking Lei

Thank you to everyone who supported Talking Lei.

This installation was my final capstone project for the Rackham Graduate Certificate Program in World Performance Studies at the University of Michigan. This event took place at the School of Education on November 28, 2017.

Talking Lei Slide
This installation is a representation of my summer research in Hawaii in which I explored local Hawaiian identity through the teaching and learning of local knowledge. The project emerged as an autoethnography with multimedia components. 

I want to thank the women who are here to make lei: Patricia Garcia, Maggie Hanna, Ashley Jackson, Debi Khasnabis, Enid Rosario-Ramos, Jenny Sawada, and Amber Sizemore. 

This project is an exploration of storytelling. These women are a part of my story, my journey. My story is not complete without them. This project would not be possible without them. They have shown up for me tonight, a symbol for the support and love that they have given to me throughout my time here at the University of Michigan. I would not be who I am without them. And I want to take a moment to thank them for being a part of my life.

I also want to take a moment to thank my hanai sister, Katie Wong, who created the watercolor title cards for each of the pieces. While she is not present in body, it does make me smile to see her presence scattered throughout this room.

I wrote that this project explores the process of lei making as a metaphor for the embodiment of the connectedness of storytelling in physical space. I recognize that we are at the School of Education and that this type of presentation is not conventional for this space. So I am going to do a bit more of an introduction than I would if this piece existed as an installation somewhere else. 

The women today are making hakulei by bundling flowers and wrapping them together. This project extends this practice into metaphor. Today to create this project, I have gathered women who are important and beautiful to me, I have bundled them together to make lei, and I am wrapping them together through the context of this performance.

My writing is displayed in a circle, a lei, around the room. I encourage you all to move freely throughout the space and to interact with these pieces in whichever order you choose. The vignettes are not meant to be read in sequence. The individual pieces of this project are as important as the work as a whole. As you move through the space to read these stories, you add another layer of connectedness: your own. You become a part of this story as well.

School of Education 2017 Spring/Summer Award

Proposal funded! "Comedic Counterstories: Performing Marginality" has been funded by the University of Michigan School of Education.


Research Questions

I have two questions that I would like to explore this summer:
1. What are some defining characteristics of a stand-up comedy set?
2. How do stand up comedians use performance to empower themselves and others?

In the first question I hope to learn more about the disciplinary practices of performance in general, and stand-up comedy in particular. Beyond identifying regularities within the performance community and the genre of stand-up comedy, I would like to explore how comedians of marginalized identities use performance as a subversive space. This second question is intimately entwined with the goals of diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity.

I hope that my findings from these two questions will contribute to a larger question than I would like to explore in later work:
3. How does creating a comedic counterstory help teens explore and express their marginalized identities and experiences?
Eventually, I would like to develop a program curriculum which works with teens to write and perform their own comedic counterstories in the form of stand-up comedy sets. Keeping this larger question in mind as I pursue the questions for my summer project will help to guide my work this summer.

SOE Community (Still) Outspoken 2017

This past weekend I performed a personal story and a song at the School of Education's (Still) Outspoken Event. Thank you to everyone who offered support, encouragement, and validation for my experience and my story.

Outspoken 2018.png


Outspoken is an exciting event held each year that showcases the perspectives and talents of SOE’s diverse community. It occurs during SOE’s Campus Visit Day in March. The event is sponsored by SOE’s student organization Becoming Educators of Tomorrow (BET). Outspoken originated four years ago when former BET co-chairs Alaina Neal and Natalie Davis were concerned that the typical panel discussion about diversity was not enough to capture the fullness of what it meant to be a part of the SOE community. They hoped a showcase event would help move SOE community members from talking about diversity to “doing diversity.” Outspoken is now a much anticipated and enjoyed event that helps build community and enrich dije-related awareness.

During Outspoken, students, staff, faculty members, and audience members convey their talents, critical reflections, and social commentary through performing short skits, singing, poetry, spoken word, storytelling, etc. Naomi Wilson, who co-organized the 2017 (Still)Outspoken showcase with fellow doctoral student Paulina Fraser, reflected on the event. She explained, “It allows space to speak your truth on whatever you feel, openly, about diversity, gender, sexuality, anything. It is meant to make you feel comfortable and confident.” Additionally, Outspoken provides a meaningful opportunity for SOE community members to gather in both an academic and social environment and see themselves reflected. Wilson elucidated that by saying, “This one event is a catalyst to make people feel comfortable and connect professors, advisors, and students as they speak their truth. It creates a network and community.” Indeed, Outspoken is a phenomenal event and we would like to recognize the 2017 performers, including students Kimberly Ransom, Asya Harrison, Christina Morton, Channing Matthews, Anna Shapiro, Jennifer Pollard, Charles Wilkes, Gabriel DellaVecchia, Paulina Fraser, Naomi Wilson and Nicolas Boileau; faculty members Pat King, Pat Herbst, Vilma Mesa, and Debi Khasnabis; and staff member Simona Goldin.

Click here to read the SOE dije publication Expansions.