New Faculty Q&A: Yuliana Kenfield

Dr. Yuliana Kenfield is a new WOU Education and Leadership assistant professor, who is teaching two classes this term: ED 446  Environments for Diverse Learners and ED 352 Social Studies Teaching Methods. She has attended Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco, Universidad Antonio de Nebrija, and University of New Mexico, and she has been teaching at the college level for almost six years, as well as seven years in K-12. Her office is located in room 221 of the Richard Woodcock Education Center.


Why did you choose WOU?

I joined WOU because I was particularly excited about the collective efforts of the WOU community in the field of education towards social justice. I have learned about the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) workgroup efforts in Educator and the Bilingual Teacher Scholars programs. Since the moment I met faculty members at WOU, I felt we share the same passion for helping culturally and linguistically diverse communities embrace literacy. At WOU, I feel very fortunate to learn from and with community researchers of education who value its role in education for addressing the needs of all learners.


Why did you choose your field of study?

Because I believe successful educational equitable strategies depend heavily on an educator’s ability to support diversity and leverage the fulfillment of inclusion, I chose a doctoral applied sociolinguistics in education program. I strive to include in my instruction academic training, research, and real-world experience–a background which enables me to promote equity in education.


For me, the commitment to social justice requires critical lenses and constant self-reflection to successfully teach within and learn among a community of educators.


Kenfield sitting in her office, bookshelf behind her, smiling at the camera.
Yuliana Kenfield

Can you explain your dissertation?

My dissertation research employed Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and photovoice with a focus on sociolinguistic practices, identities, and ideologies of Quechua-Spanish college students of Cusco, Peru. By coupling post-structuralist concepts of linguistic ideologies and decolonial thinking, I utilized mixed methods to implement a dual approach to this research: quantitative (survey study) and qualitative (interviews, photovoice, observations). These efforts deepened our understanding of the complex contention between sociolinguistic ideologies within higher education from asset views to bilingualism.


Top three hobbies?

Hiking, dancing, poetry writing.


What is a book that you recommend everyone read?

Currently, I would recommend The Cruel Pedagogy of the Virus (Boaventura de Sousa Santos)


Who is your role model?

There are so many people I admire because they act [on] their beliefs, such as Hilaria Supa Huaman, Wangari Matai, Dolores Huerta, and more.


Do you have any pets?

No pets at this time. In the past, I was fortunate to cohabit with cats, dogs, and mice. Currently, I cohabit with spiders and visiting birds.


What is your favorite childhood memory?

Many memories related to my awareness of growing up with bilingual Quechua relatives.


What was your favorite class to take as a student?

Community Based Participatory Research with Indigenous Epistemologies.


On a Saturday morning, you can find me___?

Strolling with my kids around parks or streets in Oregon. I feel fortunate that we can hike and walk around these lands.


Any advice for incoming freshmen?

Do not hesitate to contact your instructors for support; we are here to serve you and we want you to succeed.


Any advice for graduating seniors?

When applying your professional skills, remember to constantly learn from the community you are serving. Every community has a diversity of assets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *