About Me

Photo by Mithu Tharayil (c) 2016

For an extended bio, peep my faculty profile webpage:

In brief, I was born in Costa Rica to Cuban exiles in the US Foreign Service. An upbringing of bouncing around Central and South America with open-minded parents provided me the privilege of excellent bilingual schools and plenty of exposure to different perspectives and experiences.

Glaciar Perito Moreno
Photo by Mithu Tharayil (c) 2013

As I would come to appreciate later in life, however, it also gave me some firsthand insights into colonialism and its legacies, and the way race, nationality, gender, and class could alter one’s opportunity landscapes. These lessons were reinforced when I moved to the US at age 16, and throughout my college education and teaching career in East Palo Alto, CA and Harlem, New York City. With perhaps naive insistence that schools and education can be a locus of change and social justice, I got my PhD from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University and was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity on the faculty at the University of Colorado Denver. My research is in the fields of language ideologies, bilingualism, and second language acquisition, with an eye towards their implications and applications for teaching practice and education policy, and ultimately, seeking a more equitable and just world.

Guatemalan Mural
Photo by Luis Poza (c) 2014

Above all else, I must give thanks to my partner, my family, my mentors, colleagues, and friends, and the students and teachers who, regardless of the kind of world we live in and whether living or in spirit, provide me with love, support, and inspiration every day.