top of page
About: Headliner

Inquiry of Lived Experiences

My research examines professional learning strategies through a qualitative lens of lived experiences and grounded within applied models of social, emotional, and cultural learning (SECL) to inform best practices within equity-based communities of practice that include coaching. My intention is for my practitioner-based research to 1.) make a difference in the professional learning field and to 2.) “give voice to silenced people” (Richardson,1997, p. 15) and 3.) use forms of inquiry that focus on successes within a phenomenon to inform and inspire educational communities. Portraiture is an example of a qualitative method I use to reach audiences beyond academia through authentic documentation of real-life narratives that are written to engage readers into “thinking more deeply about issues that concern them (Lawrence-Lightfoot, 1997, p. 10). This is a methodology that I have used and taught to my doctoral students for the past fifteen years. Knowing that my most inspired and applicable disciplined inquiry comes from lived experiences, I have focused my inquiry as a qualitative inquirer, portraitist and scholar of teaching. I would like my disciplined inquiry to have cross-discipline significance and influence. 

My research activities also align with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) framework (e.g., Boyer, 1990; Savory, P., Burnett, A. N., & Goodburn, A., 2007; Rice, 2005) first introduced to me through the Faculty Development Center; and then, as a faculty scholar of the University of Colorado President’s Teaching and Learning Collaborative (PTLC); a selected group of faculty scholars who learn how to conduct SoTL research with the help of collaborative mentors across the three campus university system. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning framework requires an instructor to examine their own teaching and their students’ learning from the stance of disciplined inquiry. I have studied reflections and feedback surveys from my students to measure the impact the professional learning I, or others I partner with in P12 education, have on creating transformative, successful experiences. These results provide examples for others who are also interested in measuring the impact of intentionally designed to be transformative learning experiences. While the learner determines how transformational an experience is, we can take actions to be mindful of our design and facilitation practices to promote social, emotional and cultural learning that contributes to one’s self-efficacy in teaching and/or leading other educators. My research is aligned with SEHD’s vision to provide “national expertise on educational issues and socially-just solutions for urban and diverse communities” and “through innovative research and partnerships, [I] strive to be passionate agents of change, inspiring upcoming generations to learn from the past and shape the future” (2020).

As a result of my sustained and focused research measuring the impact of professional learning designed and facilitated from a social, emotional and cultural learning lens, transformative learning theory, I have published 4 refereed articles and 1 non-refereed article since post-reappointment in 2011 and have presented at 3 conferences about my research. Examples of my research are viewable upon request and are listed on my accompanying vita. 

Demonstrating the Ability to Engage in, Collaborate on, or Initiate Inquiry and Scholarship on Teaching, Program &  Practice 


The following statement addresses the School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) expectation to share “an emergent, clear, sustained, and focused programmatic record of the engaging in, collaborating on or initiating programmatic inquiry and scholarship on teaching, program and practice which demonstrates a commitment to the SEHD and/or CU Denver mission and vision” (CTT Research Criteria 1, 2014). My research is also aligned to CU’s strategic priorities to “create a more cohesive, collaborative and inclusive culture,” to “strengthen our position and impact as a vital community asset,” and to “advance scholarly excellence and innovation in teaching, research and creative work” while elevating “student success” through increased enrollment, retention and graduation rates.

My research agenda includes two areas of focus: 1.) how virtual, remote, and blended professional learning communities of practice are designed and facilitated to be transformative and support social, emotional, and cultural learning for the participants; and 2.) what the measurment of impact of professional learning and job-embedded coaching is on changing educators’ practices and increasing their self-efficacy as faciltitators and ensuring learners’ success as defined by the learners. 

Areas of Research

  • Social, Emotional & Cultural Learning in Digital/Hybrid Professional Learning

  • Measuring for Social, Emotional, Cultural, and Emotional Professional Learning Impact

  • Student Focus Groups

  • Empathy Interviews

  • Portraiture as a Qualitative Method

  • Coaching for Equity within Transformative Professional Learning 

  • Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Schools and Libraries

Applied Research & Practitioner-based Publications & Funded Grants

Refer to next page for a list of publications.


  1. Richardson, L. (1997). Fields of play: Constructing an academic life. Rutgers University Press

  2. Lawrence-Light, S. (1997). A view of the whole: Origins and purposes. In S. Lawrence-Lightfoot & J. Hoffman-Davis (Eds.), The art and science of portraiture (pp. 3-16). Jossey-Bass.

  3. Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

  4. Savory, P., Burnett, A. N., & Goodburn, A. (2007). Inquiry into the college classroom: A journey toward scholarly teaching. Anker Publishing.

  5. Rice, R. E. 2005. The future of the scholarly work of faculty. In K. A. O’Meara, & R. E. Rice (Eds), Faculty priorities revisited: Rewarding multiple forms of scholarship (pp. 303-312). Jossey-Bass

  6. School of Education and Human Development (2020). Mission & vision. 

  • X
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
bottom of page