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Faculty Fellows

ITL draws upon the expertise of current faculty to disseminate innovative and inclusive practices across the system, including teaching first-generation college students and creating equitable teaching environments.

2018-19 Fellows for Teaching First-Generation College Students

Professors Maria Estela Zarate, Ph.D., and Rebecca Gutierrez Keeton, Ph.D., have developed an online seminar on teaching first-generation college students by drawing on cultural strengths. In summer and fall 2019, 25 faculty from nine CSU campuses have been engaged in the course.

The seminar's strengths-based approach to promoting achievement and engagement was refined in two summer institutes offered by the Faculty Development Center at Cal State Fullerton. They were also invited to teach a pre-conference session at the NAPSA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education annual conference.

Maria Estela Zarate, Ph.D. 

Maria Estela Zarate, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Educational Leadership
Coordinator, Preliminary Administrative Services Credential Program
​California State University, Fullerton

Dr. Zarate's research addresses the trajectory of immigrant students in U.S. schools, including the education of English language learners and the connections between schools and families. She has also examined issues influencing college access and persistence for first-generation college students and students of color, including academic preparation and support. Overall, Zarate's work points to the role that educators and institutions play in determining students' success. In higher education contexts, faculty are a critical determinant of students' learning and engagement.


Rebecca Gutierrez Keeton, Ph.D. 

Rebecca Gutierrez Keeton, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership
California State University, Fullerton

Dr. Keeton has dedicated her career to the California State University, having worked in student affairs for 26 years at Cal Poly Pomona. She now uses an equity and social justice lens to teach the next generation of student affairs professionals at Cal State Fullerton. She also coordinates the master's of science in higher education program that serves diverse cohorts of primarily underserved, first-generation, low-income students of color. The program has balanced gender representation and no statistically significant differences in graduation rates, based on gender or race.

Keeton's experiences and commitment to social justice inform her research agenda, which includes the persistence of underrepresented students and student affairs professionals in higher education and identity development work that honors intersectional identities. She earned a bachelor's in music education from Chapman University, a master's in student development from Azusa Pacific University, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the Claremont Graduate University.


2018-19 Fellow for Equitable Teaching Environments

In spring 2019, Marcella De Veaux, Ph.D., offered a workshop titled “Exploring Bias to Build Equity-Minded Learning Environments" on three CSU campuses. Created for Faculty Development at CSUN, the workshop creates a dynamic space for faculty to explore, through self-reflection and introspection, their own bias and learn strategies for creating equitable environments for learning in and beyond the classroom.

Maria Estela Zarate, Ph.D.  

​Marcella "Marcy" De Veaux, Ph.D.

Professor of Journalism
Director, Special Projects for Faculty Development
California State University, Northridge

As director of special projects for Faculty Development at CSUN, Dr. De Veaux facilitates the Institute for Transformative Teaching and Learning, which aims to close opportunity gaps among students by engaging faculty in self-reflection and professional learning about equity-minded practices. De Veaux is an ambassador for a variety of issues related to diversity, inclusion and cultural competence at CSUN: She serves on President Dianne Harrison's Commission on Inclusion and Diversity Initiatives; conducts a workshop based in the science of unconscious bias for university faculty and staff entitled “Rooting Out Unconscious Bias: How Do You See the World?"; and serves as chair of the Educational Equity Committee, whose projects include mentoring faculty through the retention, tenure and promotion process as an avenue to retaining educators of color.

De Veaux earned her doctorate in depth and liberation psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Depth psychology involves techniques for exploring motives that underlie conscious awareness. Psychologies of liberation emerged from depth psychology with a focus on ethnically diverse and indigenous communities. She also holds a master's in human resource management from Lesley College. Both degrees support her work addressing unconscious bias in the workplace.