Alicia De León
Summer 2013 Fellow
Alicia De León is a doctoral student in the Department of Education, Culture & Society (ECS) in the College of Education at the University of Utah. She grew up to the southeast of downtown Los Angeles, CA of immigrant Mexican and Guatemalan parents. Having studied in Guadalajara, Mexico Ms. De León is bilingual, speaking/writing Spanish and English fluently. In 2005, she earned her bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Ethnic Studies at Arizona State University (ASU) and pursued a Master’s Degree at the University of Los Angeles, CA (UCLA) in the department of Social Science and Comparative Education (SSCE) in 2007. Currently, as a fourth-year doctoral student, Ms. De León is committed to critically examining the role that racism (and other intersecting forms of oppression) plays in shaping college access, retention, and graduation for students of color. Alicia has worked primarily as a co-research/mentor with Chicana/o and Latina/o youth and is a co-director at the Mestizo Arts & Activism (MAA) program (2012-present). Her research is interested in knowing more about informal spaces of teaching and learning and how critical research communities are fostered in these spaces. With funding from the Ellen Christina Steffensen Cannon Scholarship Fund, she is engaging in dissertation work that reflects participatory action research, grounded in Borderlands and Critical Race Theory frameworks, with high school youth as they utilize digital media tools to leverage their civic and/or political activities. She is the first in her family to pursue a doctorate degree.