I am a writer, a teacher, and a scholar. I earned a Ph.D. in English from Purdue University. Race scholar/philosopher Leonard Harris and cultural/literary theorist Arkady Plotnitsky directed my dissertation, which I completed in absentia while working as an English teacher at Van Nuys High School in the LAUSD. I worked at VNHS for seven years.
As a teacher, I take great pride in the fact that I have been committed and effective throughout my entire teaching career for middle and high school students, university students, and community college students. I take great pride in my ability to speak and teach in different ways that reach a broad range of individuals–poor, urban kids of color; recent immigrants and English language learners; magnet and gifted students; scholars, social activists, and artists.
Regarding my identity, I am of Mexican, Italian, and American descent. My father was an Italian citizen. I have lived most of my life in Los Angeles. My heritage and identity are constantly in motion as I continue to investigate and connect with my roots. At present, I identify as mixed, multiracial, transnational, and human.
My academic publications include “Multiracial Identity in the Post-Civil Rights Era” (2005) in Social Identities, “Jean Toomer and Cane: Mixed-Blood Impossibilities” (2008) in Arizona Quarterly, and “Creating Multiracial Identities in the Work of Rebecca Walker and Kip Fulbeck: A Collective Critique of Liberal Multiculturalism” (2013) in the journal MELUS. In addition, Rudolph Byrd and Henry Louis Gates Jr. selected my Jean Toomer article for republication in the second Norton Critical Edition of Jean Toomer’s Cane (2011).