Lynette Guzmán, PhD, is a mathematics education researcher and teacher educator. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, she is a Tejana at heart (and, of course, loves Selena). Dr. Guzmán is an alumna and former program assistant mentor of the San Antonio Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP), started by Dr. Manuel P. Berriozábal. She considers herself a “product of STEM outreach programs” and was supported by mentorship in several mathematics-based programs during her K-12 and college education. Dr. Guzmán earned her PhD in mathematics education at Michigan State University and is a former National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and University Enrichment Fellow. She was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Arizona under the mentorship of Dr. Marta Civil where she worked closely with mathematics education faculty and prospective mathematics teachers. Dr. Guzmán is currently an Assistant Professor of STEM Education in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at California State University, Fresno. Outside of academic work, she is known on the internet as Professor Lynette for her brand, WizardPhD, and creates content that brings forward philosophical perspectives on various media (video games, film, books) across several platforms.
Dr. Guzmán’s scholarship centers on addressing inequities in education for historically marginalized students with a focus on identity and power. Her areas of expertise and interest include identities and discourses within mathematics education; digital media literacies; critical race studies in education; and qualitative methods and methodologies. She has published numerous book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as delivered both national and international presentations. Her most recent work explores how social media and digital technologies could be used as transformative educational tools to examine critical perspectives on global issues, often with attention to quantitative perspectives. Dr. Guzmán is currently the educational researcher on a longitudinal, multi-institutional effort to improve mathematical success of historically marginalized students in undergraduate-level mathematics courses in California’s Central Valley. The project aims to develop scalable digital modules using adaptive learning technologies that instructors can use alongside humanizing practices in mathematics classrooms to support student learning.
Dr. Guzmán’s commitments to equity and justice in education are grounded in her experiences as a student and educator constrained by narrow epistemological and ontological perspectives on mathematics teaching and learning that often exclude students of color. She works with prospective and practicing K-8 teachers to transform their classrooms with equity-oriented and humanizing practices that value young people as knowers and creators. Although Dr. Guzmán excelled in mathematics classes in grades K-12 and declared mathematics as her major in college, she realized that her school mathematics experiences did not allow her to see the subject as useful, beautiful, or humanizing. Her previous mathematics classes never engaged with the messiness and complexity of the world around her, with care to creativity and thoughtfulness. Consequently, Dr. Guzmán strives to keep dignity and love at the center of her work and to constantly learn from her students’ expertise as humans she lives alongside in the world. Overall, her goal as a teacher educator is to support learning to teach mathematics through reflective and collaborative practice while developing commitments to equity in mathematics education. She has learned to foreground complexities and embrace the contradictions that come along with making sense of ourselves and our world.
Dr. Guzmán knows what it feels like to be loved in sustaining places thanks to nearly two decades of experiences in counterspaces made by Latinx scholars, for Latinx scholars. She believes she would not have earned her PhD without these communities, countless mentors, and time to be in healing spaces. This is why Dr. Guzmán devotes energy to outreach for students of color and continues this service alongside her scholarship. Her mentoring and service activities include both formal and informal mentoring relationships with graduate students, undergraduate students, and several K-12 STEM-based outreach programs. Ultimately, though, Dr. Guzmán wants young people to pursue their passions and manifest their gifts in ways that create joy, regardless of whether or not that involves a STEM-based career path.
Hispanic Heritage Month means celebrating and honoring legacies of giants whose shoulders we stand upon. I would not be in the positions I have without the gracious support of my (too many to list) Latinx mentors. It means shining spotlights on our loving communities with all our wonderful contributions to the world. It reminds me of the beautiful histories and brilliance that we have to share.