Photo of Kaia Tollefson

Kaia Tollefson

Associate Professor, Education

Contact Information


Ph.D. Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies, University of New Mexico, 2004


Prior to joining the CSUCI faculty in 2006, Dr. Tollefson worked in education for 24 years. Her career began in Kodiak, Alaska where she worked as a middle school teacher for nine years and in administration for the next five—first as a curriculum and staff development coordinator and then as an elementary school principal.

Tollefson’s Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies was awarded by the University of New Mexico in 2004. She earned her Master’s degree from the University of Alaska, Anchorage in Public School Administration, and her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Valley City State University in North Dakota. Her current interests include educational equity and social justice, democratic education (specifically in terms of understanding how voice, agency and relationships are facilitated and inhibited in schools, for students, parents, and educators), media literacy and educational leadership.

Representative Courses Taught

  • EDUC 650 Critical Friends Groups as Professional Learning Communities
  • EDUC 520 Observing and Guiding Behavior in Multilingual/Multicultural and Inclusive Classrooms
  • EDUC 345 Media Literacy and Youth Culture



social justice, educational leadership, media literacy, critical literacy

Additional Teaching and Research Information