Leah Peña Teeters, PhD
Director of Participatory Research

Dr. Leah Peña Teeters is the Director of Participatory Research at the Crown Institute and a member of the Executive Committee. Leah came to the Institute out of a desire to be a part of systematic work towards creating more compassionate, humanizing, and just communities. She received her undergraduate degree in history and her Master's in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity with endorsements in Special Education and Linguistically Diverse Education. She taught history in Central Mexico and English Language Development in rural Colorado. She earned her doctorate in Learning Sciences and Human Development from the University of Colorado Boulder with a focus on designing learning environments and developing culturally relevant systems for consequential learning. Leah then completed a medical fellowship in translational and clinical research in the Department of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University, with a focus on developing preventative approaches to medicine that foregrounded perspectives on learning and family partnerships. Her work in the Crown Institute focuses on developing participatory methods of inquiry and collaborating with youth and their communities to generate systems, structures, and programs of equitable learning and development.