Alexa Yunes-Koch
Alexa Yunes-Koch Ph.D. Program Teaching, Curriculum and Learning

Brief Biography

Alexa Yunes-Koch is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education. She is a Graduate Research Assistant with Dr. Kara Viesca and Dr. Ladan Saidi, working with neuroimaging and biometric data to understand more about the brain, emotion, and cognition in teaching and learning.

Outside of UNL, Alexa is the co-founder of Yunes Educational Services, LLC, (Y.E.S.) where she develops learning resources and delivers workshops for teachers about early literacy, language learning, and the neuroscience of emotion and cognition. Alexa has written and illustrated several books for teachers and students through Y.E.S., including the bilingual children’s book, All Our Colors Shine, on celebrating diversity. She earned her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Development, and she taught in K-12 classrooms for 6 years, teaching students across South Texas, China, and Mexico. Alexa was a teacher for the Walt Disney Company’s Learning Division in Shanghai, China.

Research Interests

Alexa's research focus is the practical application of neuroscience in the classroom, particularly as it relates to emotion, cognition, and behavior teaching and learning. Alexa studies teacher stress and how it impacts student-teacher interactions, teachers' perceptions of students, and student behavior and learning. She is driven by a desire to give teachers research-based tools to cope with the outstanding emotional demands of their profession. As a Mexican immigrant, Alexa also centers racial justice and equity in her work, welcoming any opportunity to interrupt dominant narratives about Mexican, Latinx, and other minoritized students.

Publications & Conference Presentations

Yunes-Koch, A., Viesca, K. M., & Yunes, C. (2022). Toward Racially-Just Multilingual Classroom Pedagogy: Transforming Learning Centers for the K-5 Classroom. In TESOL Guide for Critical Praxis in Teaching, Inquiry, and Advocacy (pp. 110-133). IGI Global.

Viesca, K., Wang, P., Heinz, B., & Yunes-Koch, A. (2022). (Re) Turning To Freirean Philosophy in Preparing Content Teachers to Work with Multilingual Students.

2022 Presenter at the Region One Education Conference

2019 Presenter at the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE)

2018 Presenter at the Texas Association for Bilingual Educators (TABE)

2018 Presenter at the Association for Migrant Educators of Texas (AMET)

2018 Presenter at the Harris County Early Childhood Conference (HCECC)

Co-authored and self-published 23 teacher-resource books for PreK-5 teachers through Yunes Educational Services, LLC