Born and raised in the Bay Area, California, Erica Caasi is a PhD candidate in the School of Education with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction in literacy and teacher learning, research practice (TLRP). She teaches Children's Literature and Literacy Engagement in Elementary Schools and has previously taught Education in Film. Erica loves stories of all forms (e.g., film, tv, books), especially YA fiction. Her research focuses on bringing a critical embodiment approach and critical literacy lens to understanding the intersections of gender, race, sport, and children’s texts. She is working to develop alternative spaces for adolescent girls to have conversations around sport and sport culture. Outside of academia, she is a competitive powerlifter having competed both locally and nationally.