Nicole Rangel is an educator and Ph.D. candidate in the Social and Cultural Studies of Education program at UC Berkeley. She also holds a master's in sociology from San Diego State University. Nicole is an interdisciplinary scholar whose past research brought together theories of decolonization and play in order to generate more holistic approaches to education. Currently, Nicole is working on her dissertation, which explores how academic freedom is valued and practiced at two U.S. "public-ivy” schools marked with free speech controversies. Using a comparative case study approach, Nicole's work inquires into the motivations and experiences of publicly engaged scholars who exercise their academic freedom in politically controversial ways. Her research aims to elucidate ways of reinforcing the academy’s connection to, and responsibility for, the public that it is tasked to serve. Nicole has been published in the journals of Educational Studies and Radical Pedagogy and has recently published an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune.