Idara Essien, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Family Development (CFD) at San Diego State University (SDSU). She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Arizona State University (ASU). She also holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Early Childhood Education from ASU and a second master’s in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). Her research focuses on the dynamics between educators and the children and families that they serve. In particular, her work employs counter-storytelling as a lens to illuminate cross-racial dynamics in early childhood contexts.

During the 2017-2018 school year, Idara served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Child and Family Development at SDSU. Prior to that, she served as the Cohort Instructor and Facilitator in the Early Development and Care Bachelor’s program for CSU Sacramento at Southwestern College. Currently, Idara is serving as the first lady at Sacramento State University. Outside of academia, Idara enjoys traveling, exercising, and spending time with her family.