Kevin K. Kumashiro, Ph.D.


Dr. Kumashiro was a professor of Asian American Studies and Education at the University of illinois at Chicago (UIC) before assuming the position of dean at the USF School of Education. He also served as Chair of the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Interim Co-Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy. He has taught in schools and colleges across the U.S. and abroad and has served as a consultant for school districts, organizations and state and federal agencies.

He was primary investigator and project director of the UIC AANAPISI Initiative (Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution) which is funded by $4 million from the U.S. Department of Education. The AANAPISI Program supports institutions of higher education in their effort to increase their self-sufficiency through two-year grants to improve academic programs, institutional management, and fiscal stability.

Dr. Kumashiro is an award-winning author and editor whose books include Troubling Education (2003 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award), Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning toward Social Justice, and Bad Teacher!: How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture. He is current President of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME).

Elena Flores, Ph.D.

Credentialing Programs and Faculty Development

Dr. Flores is a spanish-speaking, Latina Clinical Psychologist with several years experience providing mental health and human services to adolescents and families from diverse cultural backgrounds. Her work in community health and mental health has involved direct assessments and psychotherapy, case management, program development and evaluation, clinical supervision, developing policies and procedures for comprehensive services, and developing culturally-specific interventions and psychological services. She has experience consulting with health and mental health community-based organizations, education programs, and county and federal agencies.

Dr. Flores is also a Research Associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco where she is currently a Co-investigator of a NIH funded study examining parental influences on obesity among Mexican American children. Her research and publications focus on Mexican American family functioning and adolescent health risk behaviors, Latino adolescent sexual behavior, and discrimination stress. She has received NIH funding as a Co-investigator to study Latino adolescent relationships and condom use. Her publications have appeared in such journals as Journal of Counseling Psychology, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Journal of Adolescent Health, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, and Journal of Marriage and the Family.

Shabnam Koirala-Azad, Ph.D.

Non-credentialing Programs and Community Relations

Shabnam Koirala-Azad explores social and educational (in)equities through a transnational lens. Through ethnography and participatory research, her work critically examines the experiences of South Asian students and families in schools and society, as they experience shifting identities and navigate through structural inequities in various geographic, social and political spaces. By examining their realities in both home and host country contexts, she offers new ideas for transnational social action and highlights methodologies that directly address concerns with power and representation. As a mother-scholar, she is also interested in scholarship with an asset-based understanding of how mothering enriches careers in academia.

Christopher Thomas, Ph.D.


Named California's Professor of Education of the Year in 2010 by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), Dr. Thomas' most recent work focuses on embedding equity conscious practices into principal evaluation tools and policies and the development of community based partnerships. The underlying focus of his teaching and research is to develop social justice leaders that can serve the students of today and tomorrow. He has also been nationally involved with the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) to redesign the educational doctorate and with Leaders for Today and Tomorrow, sponsored by the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) that is identifying and developing policies and practices to better prepare and support educational leaders.

Before his appointment as Associate Dean, Dr. Thomas served as Chair of the Department of Leadership Studies since 2009. Prior to entering higher education he served as a teacher and school leader for 10 years in California and Wisconsin.