I am a Postdoctoral Associate in Chemistry Education at the University of Michigan. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico and obtained my Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Policy from the University of Pittsburgh. Thanks to my unique combination of Chemistry disciplinary knowledge and Educational I became the first chemistry education researcher named a Future Leader in Chemistry in the year 2019 by CAS.
My research program builds an understanding of how systemic disadvantages hinder the success of marginalized students in Chemistry. Specifically, how these barriers on access, opportunity, and social messaging impact their science-related attitudes, engagement with the learning environment, and retention. I do this by using cutting-edge quantitative methods with a #QuantCrit lens. My research program has contributed to the STEM and Chemistry Education fields, resulting in eight peer-reviewed articles (six with me as corresponding/first author).
My research perspective is informed by my background: I identify as a Latinx woman of color. Additionally, I am an immigrant born and raised in Mexico; English is my second language, and I have a Mexican accent when I speak English. All of these components of my identity shape my way of collecting, representing, and understanding data from marginalized students in the U.S. educational landscape.
As a Chemistry Education Researcher, I see my role as not only implementing equitable and innovative teaching practices in my own classroom but also supporting my peer instructors in implementing similar practices in a way that is not disruptive to their research responsibilities and teaching style.
Overall, my approach to effective teaching plays close attention to equity and justice. That is, it gives equal value to the knowledge/practices that are the (ever-expanding) current foundation of the Chemistry field, and knowledge/practices that will position our students to succeed and change a scientific culture that has a long history of reproducing systemic injustices. As a mentor is my obligation to educate myself on how the system of science marginalizes my students, while at the same time acknowledging the experience is deeply personal. Furthermore, is my responsibility to teach them how to navigate an environment that expects them to think or act in a specific manner while maintaining their culture and identity intact.
I am the personification of the borderlands. I am the incarnation of the mythologies of my culture. I am a product of colonization. I am a daughter of indigenous maternal ancestry and “El Conquistador” in my paternal ancestry. I am a new mestiza, someone whose whole life has been about living in nepantla (the in-between-space), constantly having to engage in epistemological border crossing. In my scholarship and mentoring, I aim to transform science and learning environments so that others like myself with multiple cultural identities can negotiate tensions between those identities and resist the forced dichotomy of colonialism to choose one over the other
If you want to learn more about my approach towards Chemistry Education Research please watch the Meet the CAS Future Leaders session from C&En’s Futures Festival!