Emily Affolter | Prescott College

Emily Affolter

Academic Statement

Emily Affolter is the director of Prescott College's Sustainability Education doctoral Program, as she works daily with an ideologically and identity diverse cadre of innovators/students in the program and it fuels her greatly.   

Emily has been faculty in Prescott's PhD program teaching foundations of research and scholarship and advising a constellation of Prescott graduate students for some years now. Concurrently, until July 2019, Emily worked as a Senior Research Scientist and Equity Consultant for the University of Washington's Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity (CERSE) in Seattle, WA. Her work at CERSE involved research, program evaluation, resource development, and facilitating interventions to advance and bolster diversity, equity, and inclusion in workplaces, academic environments, and beyond. Emily continues to help schools and school leaders (K-16) integrate and facilitate more equitable and just pedagogies, practices, and policies.

Emily earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Multicultural Education from the University of Washington, her M.A. in Multicultural Education from Prescott College, and her B.A. in Humanities and Spanish from Scripps College. She is a former Fulbright grantee who has done research and curriculum development in on combating xenophobia in Mexico and Colombia. Her most current research interests explore culturally responsive professional development interventions for teachers and leaders, and the art of diversity, equity, and inclusion facilitation. 

While Emily's educational philosophy constantly evolves, she believes there are some fundamentals to cultivating a healthy learning environment for students. One ongoing goal of hers as a teacher and leader is to advocate for curiosity, cultural humility, and mutual respect for others. Emily believes that culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy must be employed to encourage students to develop critical consciousness with which to challenge exclusionary norms. She is committed to framing her pedagogical values by centering the question of how to best serve the needs of a diverse learning community comprised of individuals with different cultural and ethnic identities. Emily believes working towards equitable instruction in classrooms as well as within the framework of larger educational systems requires a familiarity with critical multicultural topics, concepts, and principles.

As an educator, Emily strives for the following: to listen deeply; to make it evident that no education is apolitical; to create space for her own and her students’ intersecting identities in the classroom and beyond; to make learning relatable, engaging, fun, and experiential; to ask for feedback and make changes accordingly; to maintain a high academic bar; to use class time effectively; to monitor her own airtime (the students should be speaking most of the time); to facilitate cross-pollination of ideas among students; to value humor; to plan for class thoughtfully and enter with flexibility when that plan shifts; to capitalize on what students are interested in and minimize what they are not interested in; to be creative; to make their learning relevant to their lives; and to cultivate a habit of self-reflection so that she is constantly evolving my teaching philosophy and practice.

As a leader, Emily values collaboration, transparency, integrity, and humility. She sees her primary work in the Sustainability Education doctoral program as one of strategic listening--both inside the program, and outside to garner more information on what is successful and what needs to be amplified and refined. She is thrilled to grow alongside the program as it innovates and changes to best meet the needs of current and prospective students.


Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction: Multicultural Education. University of Washington.

M.A. in Multicultural Education. Prescott College.

B.A. in Humanities and Spanish. Scripps College.


Affolter, E. (2017). “Staying Woke” on educational equity through culturally responsive teaching. University of Washington. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.washington.edu/researchworks/bitstream/handle/1773/39877/Affolter_washington_0250E_17312.pdf?sequence=1

Affolter, E., Jackson, J., Caldwell, A., & Scott Byone, E. (2016). Trump is our President-elect: It’s time for action. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-is-our-president-elect-its-time-for-action_us_58361a8ce4b050dfe61879b5

Affolter, E., & Rosman, S. (2015). The White Liberal Chamber. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emily-alicia-affolter/the-white-liberal-chamber_b_8514712.html      

Affolter, E. (2013). La diáspora latina: Investigando y celebrando su impacto en los Estados Unidos/The Latino Diaspora: Exploring and Celebrating its Significance in the United States. Lanic Etext Collection. Retrieved from http://lanic.utexas.edu/project/etext/llilas/outreach/fulbright12/

 Affolter, E. (2013). Examining the influence of the Fulbright-Hays Mexico and Colombia seminar on educators’ philosophic and pedagogic orientations to multicultural education. Prescott College. Retrieved from http://gradworks.umi.com/15/38/1538854.html


"Addressing Race and Privilege in the STEM Classroom" (2019). American Society for Engineering Education. Tampa, FL.

"The Collaborative Art of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Facilitation" (2019). The White Privilege Conference & Symposium. Cedar Rapids, IA & Des Moines, WA.

"Being Well Intentioned is Not Enough! Understanding and Dismantling White Supremacy" (2018). Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference. Crystal City, VA.

"Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity (TECAID):  Overview & Outcomes" (2018). Association for Women in Science. Washington, D.C.

“Building a White Affinity Group: Why and How it is Imperative in these Changing Times" (2017). National Association for Multicultural Education. Salt Lake City, UT.

“Walking the Talk: Transforming Organizations for Equity" (2017). White Privilege Conference. Kansas City, MO.

“Teaching Microaggressions through Concept Mapping: A Tool for Antiracist Classrooms" (2017). Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference. Portland, OR.    

"Interrogating Whiteness: Pathways to Resistance for Equitable Education" (2016). Olympic Diversity Conference. Bremerton WA.   

"The Power of Silence: Teaching Generative Listening to Early Learners" (2016) Infant and Early Childhood Conference. Tacoma, WA  

"Identifying White Supremacy Through Microaggressions: Pathways to Equity and Justice" (2016). White Privilege Confernece, Philadelphia, PA.

"The White Liberal Chamber" (2016). White Privilege Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

"Exiting the White Liberal Chamber" (2016). National Association for Multicultural Education. New Orleans, LA.

"Multicultural Concept Mapping" (2016). National Association for Multicultural Education. New Orleans, LA.

Note: The vast majority of these workshops/presentations were done in collaboration with other respected colleagues. Please see the link to my CV below for information and attribution to all contributing members and co-collaborators. 


Awards, Grants, & Honors

Fulbright-Hays Grantee. Mexico & Colombia.

Coverage in News & Media

Leading Educators to Wokeness: Cultivating Equity Professional Development Through Culturally Responsive Teaching” (2019). Leading Equity Podcast. www.sheldoneakins.com or itunes.com 

"Diversity Included" (2018). Wull Hay Podcast. https://wullhay.com/category/wull-hay-podcast/