Featured Research Work

Kolektiv Goluboy Vagon: a cultural-political collective (2018-Present)

Brief: A multi-year, original qualitative research project on queer Soviet Jewish immigrants' relationships to race and assimilation in the US.

Challenge: I approached "whiteness" as a racial construct that is both in-process and contested. To interrogate the ways whiteness has worked from 1980s-present, I used the case study of Soviet Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants, a group whose migration took them from racial othering to racial power, via middle class whiteness. I asked: How have queer members of this group negotiated racialized assimilation? And, what is the potential of collective learning for de-assimilation and justice-oriented growth?


  • Live, virtual group study: I led 23 participants in co-facilitating 12 live, virtual co-learning sessions and focus groups (on Zoom, pre-pandemic). I gathered ethnographic data and wrote memos on these sessions.

  • Pre- and post-program surveys with 23 participants

  • Post-program evaluative interviews with 11 participants

  • Long-form qualitative interviews (6 hours per person) with 7 participants

  • Thematic coding, data triangulation, and theme generation


Cuentos Para Dormir : children's books on deportation (2015-Present)

Brief: Evaluation of children's books and accompanying curriculum guide on deportation and family separation

Challenge: I first developed and ran a participatory literacy project with parents deported to Tijuana, MX, resulting in the self-publication of nine children's books allegorizing the parent-authors' lived experiences of deportation and family separation. Then, Dr. Edward Olivos (University of Oregon) and I set out to evaluate three of the books and an accompanying discussion guide, to better understand their usability in classrooms and libraries.


  • Survey design and analysis of quantitative and qualitative survey data from 50 educators (teachers, librarians, principals) to evaluate the usability of the books and guide for grades K-6


  • We generated a set of considerations and recommendations, some of which were implemented in the subsequent professional publication of one of the books

  • We published two peer-reviewed research papers on the project: Cuentos Para Dormir: Bedtime Stories by Deported Parents (2017) and Learning About Immigration, Deportation, and Family Separation from Picturebooks (2021)

User Research (Evaluation), Learning Management System, UC Berkeley (2015-2021)

Brief: Evaluation of collaborative user tools (SuiteC) for Canvas, UC Berkeley's online learning management system

Challenge: I participated in a research team in the Graduate School of Education that developed and evaluated collaborative tools for more engaged virtual education among undergraduate students. The pandemic-induced move online exacerbated the need for meaningful and connected asynchronous online learning, leading us to evaluate tools including the Whiteboard and Impact Studio.


  • Gathering and analysis of video data, user backend data, and qualitative interviews through thematic coding and data triangulation for 30 users to evaluate "whiteboard" tool

  • Qualitative interviews, surveys, thematic coding, and data triangulation (interviews/backend data/artifacts) to evaluate "Impact Studio" tool


  • Creation of the online/hybrid Education minor

  • University stakeholder presentation: "The Power of Suite C Tools for Student Learning," with Dr. Glynda Hull, Dr. Erin Murphy-Graham, Devanshi Unadkat, Jessica Adams

  • Data generated for National Science Foundation report

  • Co-authored peer-reviewed paper and two conference presentations

User Research (Evaluation), Museum of Photographic Arts (2014-2015)

Brief: The arts-based participatory research program YouthVoiceCollaborative aimed to provide museum leadership and staff with evaluative feedback from a historically excluded audience: youth of color

Challenge: The museum set out to learn, from young people themselves, how they experienced and re-imagined the museum, toward the goal of better serving local and historically excluded audiences.


  • I designed and managed three six month iterations of the program, partnering with Media Arts Center and San Diego to engage 7-12 participants per cycle

  • Research methods included pre and post-visit focus groups, museum maps, and participatory filmmaking (with media arts partners), as well as presentations to museum staff


  • Museum senior leadership and staff attended three film screenings and Q&A discussions with the youth artists/researchers, viewing 21+ short films evaluating and re-imagining the museum

  • The program generated critical discussion during staff meetings and a set of recommendations for changes, to be considered in the strategic plan and operations