Photo of Dayna DeFeo

Dayna DeFeo

Director of CAEPR, Research Assistant Professor of Education Policy
Work Phone: 907-786-5494


Research: Higher and secondary education, representation and hegemony in curriculum and institutional systems

  • PhD in Curriculum & Instruction, New Mexico State University, 2011
  • MA in Education, New Mexico State University, 2005
  • BA in Spanish, Rutgers University, 2002

I have worked in higher education for over 10 years, first as an adjunct instructor and later as an academic advisor, institutional researcher, and assessment coordinator. I came to the University of Alaska in 2010 and joined ISER/CAEPR in 2014. I enjoy the opportunity to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects and to learn new content areas and research methods through these partnerships.

My research interests are around higher and secondary education, including representation and hegemony in the curriculum and institutional systems. Most recently, my work has focused on transitions to college, particularly in the career and technical fields and for underrepresented populations. I currently teach courses in education and career and technical education, and enjoy working with students at the graduate and undergraduate level.

Since 2012, I have been very active in a writing group, and am interested in using these social networks to support not just scholarly productivity, but a more critical engagement with work.

Outside of work, I enjoy gardening, hiking, running, jewelry making, crocheting, and beekeeping. I also collect old doorknobs and antique science equipment.


Selected Publications:

  • DeFeo, D.J. “Why are you here? CTE students’ enrollment motivations and career aspirations.” Manuscript accepted by the Association for Career and Technical Education Research Journal. Forthcoming.
  • DeFeo, D.J. 2015. Spanish is foreign: Heritage speakers’ interpretations of the introductory Spanish language curriculum. International Multilingual Research Journal, 9(2), 108-124.
  • Maseda, R., & DeFeo, D.J. 2014. Finding your “Spanish voice” through popular media: Improving students’ confidence and fluency. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 14(3), 110-131.
  • DeFeo., D.J. & Caparas, F. 2014. Tutoring as transformative work: A phenomenological case study of tutors’ experiences. Journal of the College Reading & Learning Association 44(2), 141-163.

Selected ISER Reports and Working Papers:

  • DeFeo, D.J., Bonin, D. & Ossiander-Gobeille, M. When no one is watching: An ethnographic study of student behavior in the drop-in math tutoring lab. In Review.
  • DeFeo, D.J., Kiliç, Z & Maseda, R. From productivity to process: Flipping the writing group. In Review.
  • DeFeo, D.J. 2015. Statewide articulation agreement inventory: 2013-2014. Report released by the Workforce Development Committee of the University of Alaska; Fairbanks, Alaska.
  • DeFeo, D.J., Fallon, S., Hirshberg, D. & LeCompte, C. 2014. Alaska career pathways: A baseline analysis. Report released by the University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Educational Research & Policy and the University of Alaska Anchorage Community & Technical College; Anchorage, Alaska.

Selected Presentations:

  • “A Lat Crit perspective on the future of HSI research.” 28th Annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in Higher Education, Washington, DC, May 2015.
  • “Finding Your ‘Spanish Voice’ Through Popular Media: Improving Students’ Confidence and Fluency.” 12th International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, Madrid, Spain, June 2014.
  • “Finding the ‘I’ in TEAM: Assessing student learning in academic support programs.” National Institute on Assessment of Adult Learning, Atlantic City, NJ, June 2012.

Curriculum Vitae: Dayna DeFeo’s Vita (PDF, 312KB)