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Luis A. Leyva

Assistant Professor, Mathematics Education, Department of Teaching and Learning
Faculty Affiliate, Women's & Gender Studies Program


At intersections of gender studies, higher education, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), Leyva’s research examines historically marginalized students’ narratives of oppression and agency to uncover interlocking functions of racism and cisheteropatriarchy across undergraduate STEM contexts. His research informs inclusive practices in classroom teaching and co-curricular support spaces that affirm students’ intersectional identities and increase their persistence in STEM majors.

Leyva is presently a 2020 Postdoctoral Fellow with the National Academy of Education and Spencer Foundation. He was recently distinguished with the 2021 Faculty/Staff Award for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in Vanderbilt University-Peabody College. Leyva’s contributions to the field of mathematics education have been recognized as a 2019 honoree in Lathisms (an online showcase of Latinx mathematics education researchers, American Mathematical Society & Mathematical Association of America), the recipient of the 2018 Early Career Publication Award from the Research in Mathematics Education special interest group of the American Educational Research Association, and awardee of the 2015 Dissertation Fellowshipfrom the National Academy of Education and Spencer Foundation. 

Leyva is the director of the PRISM (Power, Resistance & Identity in STEM Education) Research Lab at Peabody College. The lab’s research serves to hold an “intersectional prism” up to historically marginalized students’ narratives of experience to illuminate and disrupt multidimensional forms of oppression in undergraduate STEM education. To learn more about the PRISM and its various research projects, visit the lab website.



Prior to joining the Peabody faculty, Leyva was certified as a K-12 mathematics teacher in New Jersey and recognized with the 2011 Distinguished Student Teacher of Year Award by the New Jersey Department of Education. He holds over six years of professional experience in higher education programs, including NSF STEP living-learning communities and the Upward Bound Math-Science summer bridge program, designed to increase STEM retention and success among underrepresented groups.