» Dr. Michelle A. Samura
Assistant Professor

College of Educational Studies
Dr. Michelle A. Samura
Office Location:
Reeves Hall 116
Email:
Education
University of California, San Diego, Bachelor of Arts
University of California, Santa Barbara, Master of Arts
University of California, Santa Barbara, Ph.D.
Video Profile
Biography

Dr. Michelle Samura is Assistant Professor of Educational Studies and Coordinator of Student and Community Engagement. Prior to joining Chapman, Dr. Samura served as the Academic Coordinator for the University of California Center for New Racial Studies and taught in UCSB’s Department of Asian American Studies. She also is a former public high school teacher.

Dr. Samura primarily teaches in Chapman's undergraduate Integrated Educational Studies (IES) Program where she challenges students to think boldly and broadly about what it means to be an "educator" in today's society. Additionally, as the founding Co-Director of the Collaborate Initiative, she is engaged in efforts to reconceptualize purposes of higher education and develop ways to help people rethink where and how "learning" happens.

As a scholar, Dr. Samura works at the intersection of space, race, and education. She is particularly interested in how a spatial approach offers a unique lens to more effectively examine varying levels of power and a more accessible language to talk about the related dilemmas with which people wrestle. Drawing upon theories and methods from critical geography, visual sociology, education, architecture, and design, Dr. Samura recently launched a multi-year project titled: “Architecture of Belonging.” The multi-site case study examines the role of space in the development of belonging and community in higher education settings. This work has a wide range of theoretical and pragmatic implications, such as offering an unconventional, student-informed approach to examine and address campus climate issues in higher education as well as K-12 settings; re-conceptualizing campus and classroom designs; and developing meaningful university-school-community partnerships.

Dr. Samura also is working on several other research projects including a study on emergent meanings of "Asian American-ness" and the role of higher education in the transformation of Asian American racial identities and communities. In another study, Dr. Samura is examining processes of collaboration among universities, schools, and communities. In addition to contributing to the research literature on university-community partnerships, this project is informing the development of ongoing, mutually beneficial collaborations between Chapman and the surrounding neighborhood.

Dr. Samura's research and teaching have garnered a number of awards including selection as a semi-finalist for the 2011 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, recognition as one of the University of Michigan's National Center for Institutional Diversity Emerging Diversity Scholars, and recipient of the University of California All Campus Consortium On Research for Diversity Dissertation Fellowship.

Collaborate Initiative website: http://www.chapman.edu/ces/research/collaborate-initiative.aspx

K-12 Teaching Experience

Dr. Samura earned her California Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Sciences from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She taught U.S. History, World History, U.S. Government, and Economics at Schurr High School in Montebello, CA. 

Recent Publications:

Samura, M. (In press). Remaking selves, repositioning selves, or remaking space: An examination of Asian American college students’ processes of  “belonging.” Journal of College Student Development.

Samura, M. (In press). Architecture of diversity: Using the lens and language of space to examine racialized experiences of students of color on college campuses. In P. A. Pasque, M. P. Ting, N. Ortega, & J. C. Burkhardt (Eds.), Transforming understandings of diversity in higher education: Demography, democracy and discourse (pp. TBD). Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Samura, M. (In press). Wrestling with expectations: An examination of how Asian American college students negotiate personal, parental, and societal expectations. Journal of College Student Development.

Samura, M. (2013). Asian American college students. In X. Zhao and E. Park (Eds.), Asian Americans: An Encyclopedia of Social, Cultural, Economic, and Political History. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.

Samura, M. (2013). How do we know if Asian American students feel like they belong on our campuses? National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Asian Pacific Islanders Knowledge Community Newsletter.

Samura, M. (2013). The Prime Timers: A Collective Exploration of Purpose in an Asian American Faith Community. Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging.

Neely, B. & Samura, M. (2011). Social geographies of race: Connecting race and space. Ethnic and Racial Studies 34(11).

Samura, M. (2011). Racial transformations in higher education: Emergent meanings of Asian American racial identities. In X. L. Rong & R. Endo (Eds.) Asian American Education: Identities, Racial Issues, and Languages. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.

Recent Presentations:

Neely, B. & Samura, M. (2014, August). Social interactions of race and space. Paper presented at the 2014 Society for the Study of Symbolic Interactionism Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Norman, R. & Samura, M. (2014, August). The spiral staircase of poverty: A case study on women and the welfare system. Paper presented at the 2014 Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Samura, M. (2014, April). Racial transformations through higher education: A comparative examination of how Asian American young adults understand their racial identities during and after college. Paper presented at the 2014 Association for Asian American Studies Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. 

Samura, M. (2014, April). En/Visioning community: A collective spatial exploration of Chapman University. Featured presenter at the Chancellor’s Interdisciplinary Lunch Meeting, Orange, CA.

Moore, M. & Samura, M. (2014, March). Pathways to Building Positive Teacher-Student Relationships: A Case-Study of Two Elementary School Teachers. Poster presented at the California Council on Teacher Education Conference, San Jose, CA. 

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
Samura, M. (2013). The Prime Timers: A Collective Exploration of Purpose in an Asian American Faith Community. Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging.
Samura, M. (2011). Racial transformations in higher education: Emergent meanings of Asian American racial identities. In X. L. Rong & R. Endo (Eds.) Asian American Education: Identities, Racial Issues, and Languages. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.
Neely, B. & Samura, M. (2011). Social geographies of race: Connecting race and space. Ethnic and Racial Studies 34(11).