Our newest Instructor, Kelsi Espinoza

The Department of Statistics welcomes Kelsi Espinoza to the instructor team. Kelsi will be teaching many of our undergraduate statistic courses, such as ST201, ST202, and ST351, both on-campus and ecampus classes. Kelsi is also a current Ph.D. student at Oregon State University in the Department of Language, Equity, and Educational Policy program in the Education department. Kelsi earned her Masters in Statistics from Montana State University and her B.S. in Statistics from Sonoma State University.

We asked Kelsi some questions, to better introduce her to campus.

Where did your passion for Statistics originate?

Statistics permeate all aspects of our social worlds. There is not a product we consume untouched by statistics; for instance, every new medication or medical treatment requires use of statistics for approval or modification. Further, we as individuals are frequently part of reported statistics, and so it is vital to be able to consider critically the design and implications of studies that employ statistics. Statistical literacy empowers individuals to better navigate and negotiate the world. It is a powerful tool that can be used to enlighten, but also has historically been abused or applied in oppressive ways. Better understanding of statistics, its history and its present, is essential in the pursuit of social justice. 

Currently you are working on your dissertation here at Oregon State University, what is your area of interest?

I am interested on representation in STEM, especially Latino as well as other racial/ethnic/language minorities, particularly in math and statistics, and exploring and telling the stories of those in such programs. I believe that knowledge and learning is embedded within a wealth of histories and experiences. What and how people learn depends on their experiences and access. I am interested in using testimonios and trenzas methodologies to collect and bring to life my own stories as well as others.

What motivates your research for your Ph.D program?

I am mexicana and a first-generation college graduate that studied in STEM fields. I have had the opportunity to attend four public universities: Napa Valley College, Sonoma State University, Montana State University, and Oregon State University. My experiences at each university has been notably unique. The people you share your academic experiences with, be they student colleagues or faculty, absolutely matter. Representation in academia matters. A lot of the current research targeted in these areas utilize a deficit perspective, aiming to "fix" problem students. A deficit perspective looks at what is missing or wrong and does not necessarily ask what are the experiences and stories of those being represented. 

 What attracted you to Oregon State University?

I originally chose between Montana State University and Oregon State University for my masters in statistics, so it was towards the front of my mind when I considered schools for my PhD program. My passion was to teach, and the MSU statistics program offered me a graduate teaching assistantship that would cover tuition and living expenses. I grew up in the bay area in California and wanted to see more of the country. Considering I had seen snow fall maybe twice in my life before Montana, Montana was quite the experience. After, my husband moved from California and I moved from Montana to Oregon, and we knew that we had found "home".

 Welcome Kelsi Espinoza!

Background graph: Teleoncology for the Delivery of Oncology Care in Central Montana, Teleoncology, KelsiAnne Espinoza and Jake Johnson.