Faculty Directory

Cindy  Cruz
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Education Department
  • Affiliations Feminist Studies Department, Latin American & Latino Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Research Center for the Americas
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Fax
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • McHenry Library, 3167
    • McHenry Library, rm 3167
  • Office Hours On Sabbatical for the 2018-2019 Academic Year
  • Mail Stop Education Department
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise LGBT+, Diversity, Teacher Education, Ethnography, Social Justice
  • Courses Educ 256 Advanced Qualitative Analysis; Educ 135 Gender and Education; Educ 181 Race, Class, Culture in Education; Educ 207 Social and Cultural Foundations of Education; Educ 254 Critical and Alternative Epistemologies in Educational Research; Educ 173 Critical Pedagogy; Educ 295 Critical Theory and Education

Summary of Expertise

Homeless youth


Critical ethnography

Social and cultural analysis

Cultural Studies and Education

Foundations of Education

Feminist Methodologies

Interviewing Youth

U.S. Third World Feminist Pedagogies

Research Interests

U.S. Third World and Decolonial Feminisms
Schools and LGBTQ youth
Digital Queer Youth
Homeless youth
Youth and Violence
Latinos in the Education Pipeline
Violence against LGBTQ Communities

Biography, Education and Training

My research focuses on youth resistance, pedagogy, and testimonial narratives in urban educational spaces, with particular attention paid to the life experiences of LGBTQ street youth. I am also engaged in the conversation of how we represent youth of color in educational research, where deficit and other culture of poverty models often divest youth and their communities of agency or naturalize discourses of criminalization and poverty. It is through ethnography where I am able to engage and extend the work of US third world feminists in the spaces where multiple, oppositional and the often contradictory experiences of LGBTQ street youth intersect and overlap, where it is not a singular experience with race or homophobia that young people are experiencing, but often an interlocking and intersecting system of power that defines their reality. Much of my research focuses on these intersections, and is my attempt to theorize the often violent experiences of simultaneous, differential oppressions in pedagogical and curricular research and in my rethinking of resistance and agency.

My new project looks at violence in and outside of the schoolyard for LGBTQI youth. I am also interested in the acquisition of digital literacies with street youth and other non-dominant youth communities and developing feminist models of coalition with pre-service teacher credential students.

Honors, Awards and Grants

2018 The Golden Apple Award, Social Sciences Division

2012 Antonia I. Castaneda Prize, National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies (Best New Article)

2012 Article of the Year, Queer Studies Special Interest Group, AERA

Cornell University Provost’s Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006-2008

Selected Presentations

Paper Presentation: LGBTQ Youth Talk Back: Thinking about Resistance in Tight Spaces, National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA., 2015.

Paper Presentation: Moving U.S. Third World Feminism Forward: The Struggle of New Teachers in a Pedagogy of Coalition. American Educational Studies Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, CA, November 2, 2014.

Roundtable Discussion: Continuing the conversation: Doing LGBTQI and ally work in the Ph.D. program and beyond. Invited Talk at the American Educational Research Association Meeting Graduate Student Council Chair Fireside Chat, April 28, San Francisco, CA. 

Teaching Interests

Qualitative Methodologies
School-to-Prison Pipelines
Latinos and Education
LGBTQ issues in Schools
Feminist and Decolonial Methodologies
Race and Social Inequality
Social and Cultural Theory in Education