Humanities and Project Faculty

Liza Bearman

LA County Juvenile Court Schools
B.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.A., M.Ed. Ed.D. Columbia TC

Liza is a Los Angeles native with over twenty-five years of experience in education. She was a full-time faculty member at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she was a Lecturer, Advisor, and University Supervisor as well as a Mentor for the Peace Corps Fellows Program and a Curriculum Consultant with TC Student Press Initiative. Since 2011, Liza has served as a School Change Facilitator and Curriculum Coach for high schools located in Los Angeles County Juvenile Detention Halls and Probation Camps, as well as County Community Schools, working with faculty and students in the creation of site-based cross-disciplinary and project-based curricula.

Floridalma Boj Lopez

Cal State Los Angeles
B.A. UC Santa Cruz, M.A. Cal State Northridge. Ph.D. USC

Born in Guatemala, raised in South Central Los Angeles, and the first woman in her family to attend university, Flori now researches cultural practice within the Maya community with a particular emphasis on intergenerational imaginaries, gender and the production of indigenous migrant community in Los Angeles. Her work takes a hemispheric approach by bringing together Native American Studies, Latino Studies and Latin American Studies in an effort to analyze the experiences of Guatemalan Maya migrants. In addition to this research, Flori works to build partnerships that lead to community collaborative research, especially as it relates to strengthening social justice efforts in Southern California.

Jacob Castaneda

Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics
B.S., M.Ed. UCLA

Jacob is a Los Angeles native, former high school mathematics teacher, and the Executive Director of Los Angeles Programs for Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM), formerly Summer Program for Mathematical Problem Solving. BEAM recruits middle school scholars with mathematical promise and provides them with enrichment opportunities in mathematics and problem solving. Students are also supported from 8th grade through high school with further enrichment and connections to specialized programs, academic counseling, academic assistance, and mentorship.

Jessica Diaz

Environmental Charter School
People’s Education Movement

B.A. Alaska Pacific, M.Ed. Humboldt State

An Inglewood native and environmental justice educator/activist, Jessica teaches science at in South Los Angeles and coordinates professional development for hands-on sustainable education through the Green Ambassador’s Institute. Jessica studied environmental science and international development technology before moving to the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley where she developed research curricula with the East Bay Academy for Young Scientists. Jessica is a member of the People’s Education Movement, which organizes teachers to create critical and liberatory learning spaces.

Ron Espiritu

Ethnic Studies for All Initiative
People’s Education Movement

B.A. Amherst College, M.A. Loyola Marymount University

Ron teaches Ethnic Studies at Camino Nuevo Miramar High School in the Macarthur Park and coordinates the network-wide Ethnic Studies for All Initiative, working with a team of teachers and administrators to infuse Ethnic Studies pedagogies across academic disciplines in 8 different schools. Ron earned his B.A. in History and Interdisciplinary Ethnic Studies with a focus on Chicano and Nuyorican Literature at Amherst College and a M.A. in Education from Loyola Marymount University. He is a founding member of The People’s Education Movement, a grassroots community organization mobilizing educators in and out of the classroom and a national board member for the Education for Liberation Network that builds local and national campaigns to defend and promote Ethnic Studies approaches to teaching.

Emily Grijalva

Las Fotos Project
Restorative Justice Coordinator, Mendez H.S.

B.A., M.Ed., M.S., UCLA

The youngest daughter of Central American immigrants, Emily teaches at Mendez High School in Boyle Heights. Emily is a UCLA Writing Project Fellow, a Restorative Justice Lead Teacher, and recipient of the United Way’s Inspirational Teacher award. She serves as Board Chair for the award-winning Las Fotos Project, a community-based nonprofit inspiring teenage girls through photography, mentorship, and self-expression, encouraging them to explore their identity, learn about new cultures, build leadership and advocacy skills, and strengthen their social and emotional well-being.

Nara Hernandez

Visual Arts Director, Heart of Los Angeles
Smithsonian Fellow

B.A. UC-Santa Cruz, M.A. Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design

A Mexico City native, Nara studied Art History and Visual Culture before beginning education and curatorial work at the San Diego Museum of Man and the Autry National Center before roles in Mexico’s Museo Nacional de Antropología, El Museo del Barrio in New York, and as a Smithsonian Fellow in Washington, D.C. In L.A., Nara worked on the Siqueiros Mural Center with the Getty Museum and City of Los Angeles. A trained ballet dancer and avid photographer (studying the former at Rhode Island School of Design), Nara is currently the Visual Arts Director at Heart of Los Angeles where she promotes partnership and collaboration between artists, cultural institutions and educators, promoting creative expression and agency in young people.

Vernon Keeve

Association of Black and Brown Writers
Oakland Unified School District

B.A. George Mason, M.F.A. CCA, M.A.T. Bard

Vernon is an Oakland-based, Virginia-born writer “that California molded into an educator.” A respected poet, teacher, and restorative justice advocate, Vernon seeks to teach the next generation the importance of relaying their personal narratives, sharing their experiences, and taking control of their destinies. He holds a MFA from California College of the Arts, and a Masters in Teaching Literature from Bard College. His book Southern Migrant Mixtape was published by Nomadic Press in 2018.

Ndindi Kitonga

The Angeles Workshop
B.S., M.A. Biola University, Ph.D. Chapman University

A native of Kenya, Ndindi grew up in a family that worked as counselors and educators in Kawangware, a large slum on the outskirts of Nairobi. Her early experiences working with disenfranchised community member compelled her to pursue higher education in the United States. Today, Ndindi conducts research in areas relevant to the socio-political agency of non-Western immigrants and under-served youth, contributing to The Critical Graduate Experience: An Ethics of Higher Education Responsibilities (2014) and Culturally Responsive and Socially Responsible Research Methodology (2013) and Improving the Study of Algebra I in Urban Areas (2006). She has designed high school science and math curricula for over fifteen years. In 2014 Ndindi founded the Angeles Workshop, an experimental school organized around humanistic, passion-based, hands-on curricula.

Stephen Mucher

LA Promise Zone
California Poor People’s Campaign

B.A. Taylor University, M.A., Ph.D. University of Michigan

Stephen’s research and teaching explores intersections of history, policy, pedagogy, human rights, with liberal arts education. His writing and advocacy focuses on cultivating civic engagement, fostering student activism, and seeking humane treatment and legal rights for immigrants and refugees. Prior to joining the faculty at Bard, Stephen taught high school in Honduras, Micronesia, and Detroit. His commentaries on education, immigration, religion, and politics have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, NPR’s All Things Considered, Education Week, La Voz and Sojourners.

Joaquin Noguera

Roses and Concrete

B.A. History, St. John’s University; M.A. Education, Ph.D. candidate UCLA

As teacher, researcher, and consultant dedicated to social justice through education, Joaquin provides training, coaching and mentoring for teachers, school leaders and district officers, and supports curriculum design, developmental evaluations and strategic planning for schools and districts throughout the country. Joaquin served as a social worker in central Harlem, a K-12 teacher and school leader, and was director of a social justice oriented international youth leadership organization for African American and Latino high school students in New York City. Joaquin’s research examines the impact of politics and culture on society, education and development, and explores possibilities for resistance, healing, transformation, and equity through systems, structures, practices and processes conducive to holistic learning for historically oppressed communities.

Andrea Quaid

Poetic Research Bureau: RAD! Residencies 
Bard College Language and Thinking Program

B.A., M.F.A., Antioch University; Ph.D., UC Santa Cruz

Andrea’s work focuses on contemporary literature, poetry and poetics, pedagogy, and feminist studies. She is series co-founder and editor of Palgrave Studies in Contemporary Women’s Writing. She is co-editor of Acts + Encounters, a collection of works about contemporary experimental writing and community, and of A Primer, a J2 Commentary series on Los Angeles poetry. Publications include albeit, American Book Review, BOMBlog, Feminist Spaces Journal, Jacket2, Lana Turner, LIT and the Los Angeles Review of Books as well as “Place as Palimpsest: Literary Works and Cultural-Political Resistance” in Teaching Space, Place and Literature (Routledge). Andrea also teaches in the Critical Studies Department at California Institute of the Arts.

Luis Ramirez

Semillas Wellness / COOP LA
TEACH Tech, Community Outreach Coordinator

B.A., M.A. CSULA, UC Davis

Luis earned degrees in Political Science and Chicano/a Studies with research interests examining the importance of mentoring among first-generation college learners. His current work, at a non-traditional high school space in East Los Angeles, LA CAUSA YouthBuild, develops in bridging opportunities within the union trades. Luis’ interest in music and culture has led to the development of the podcast Six in the Morning, which explores the politics and social meaning of modern music in Los Angeles and beyond.

Irene Sanchez

Poetry y Pan
Azusa Unified Ethnic Studies

B.A. UC-Santa Cruz, M.Ed., Ph.D. University of Washington

Irene is an educator, poet, writer, and public scholar. Her most recent poetry and commentary have been featured on KPCC (Southern California Public Radio), KPFK (Pacifica Radio), The Huffington Post, American Federation of Teachers, and Inside Higher Ed. Born in Southeast Los Angeles and raised in the Inland Empire, Irene serves as ethnic studies coordinator and teacher in three Azusa high schools. . Irene speaks frequently and facilitates workshops at colleges and universities throughout the west coast and co-hosts the monthly open mic Poetry y Pan in Pomona.

Nichole Sater Foss

California State University Los Angeles
B.A., M.A. Cal State LA, Ph.D. UCSB

Nichole earned her degrees in History and Feminist Studies. Nichole’s research focuses on gender and class in nineteenth-century America, with particular attention given to how region contributes to the formation of identity. Following her interest in working with secondary students in the history classroom, she pursued graduate work in pedagogy and has taught at the secondary level. Nichole’s courses at Bard emphasize the development of an inclusive historical narrative and the advancement of effective writing and communication.

Adam Sawyer

California Place-Based History Education Project
Program in Liberal Studies (CSU-Bakersfield)

B.A. History, Vassar College; Ed.M, Ed.D. Harvard University

Adam’s research and teaching activities focus on improving schooling opportunities and instruction for students impacted by global migration in the United States and Latin America, exploring such topics as the nexus of transnational migration and education in the Americas, innovations in teacher professional development for English Language Learners, and binational (United States and Mexico) educational cooperation. Prior to becoming director of the liberal studies program at CSU-Bakersfield, Adam taught in the Bard MAT program in the California Central Valley and served as an academic consultant to the Mexican Ministry of Education.

Christine Snyder

Claremont Graduate University
The New Teacher Center

B.S. Northwestern; M.A. Columbia TC, Ph.D. candidate CGU

Christine researches curriculum and instruction, adolescent literacy, teacher education and professional development with work focusing on talent development, teacher induction, and meeting the needs of English Language Learners. Her work is informed by a decade teaching, coaching, and leadership in Los Angeles schools focused on literacy and college-readiness. She is the editor of the American Education Research Association’s Graduate Student Committee for Division C: Learning and Instruction. Christine was awarded the 2016 Tae Han Kim Award for her commitment and work with underserved communities.

Jason Torres-Rangel

UCLA Community School
National Writer’s Project

B.A. Pomona College; M.Ed. Harvard University

The son of two LAUSD teachers, Jason has taught for more than a decade. He is currently is Lead English teacher at the UCLA Community School at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools and an active leader at the United Teachers of Los Angeles. He is a teacher consultant for the National Writing Project, the California Writing Project, and the UCLA Writing Project. He was recipient of the United Way Inspirational Teacher Award, and worked for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Jason is active in writing organizations and groups promoting the preservation of Mexican history culture, and dance (Ballet folklórico) in the U.S.

Adrienne Walser

Youth Policy Institute
B.A., M.A. University of Arizona, Ph.D. USC

Adrienne works in the field of transnational Modernism and the Avant-Garde, with a particular focus on transcultural community, literary magazines, travel studies, art and gender theory. In addition to her interest in early twentieth-century avant-garde, she is active in Los Angeles art and poetry communities. Adrienne previously taught English teacher in Tucson, Arizona, working at a progressive high school affiliated with the Coalition of Essential Schools, where she was involved with teacher-led school reform. An organizer of art and literary gatherings, Adrienne works to bring people together and build community in Los Angeles.