Lydia received her doctorate in Development, Learning, and Diversity from Vanderbilt University in 2017. She then spent two years as a principal investigator on a research project funded by a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. Through her research and teaching, Lydia has focused on understanding the educational experiences of underrepresented minority postsecondary students and on how to nurture inclusive and engaging classroom environments. Prior to working in higher education, Lydia was a public school teacher for exceptional students in the DC metropolitan region and completed a master’s degree in special education at the University of Virginia. Lydia’s attention to the social context of learning has roots in her undergraduate major studies in sociology at Georgetown University, where she minored in history and spent a semester at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.