Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department Chair

 

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Biography

Mariela A. Rodríguez, Ph.D. is Professor and Interim Department Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research focuses on leadership practices that support equitable learning environments for culturally and linguistically diverse students. She has published several books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journal articles. At the national level, Dr. Rodríguez is currently the Vice President-Elect of Division A: Administration, Organization, and Leadership within the American Educational Research Association (AERA). She served as President of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) in 2017-18. At the state level, Dr. Rodríguez serves on the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) State Board as Secretary and previously served as Central Region Representative. In 2018 she was awarded the TACHE Distinguished University Faculty Award.

 

 

Mariela Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Interim Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department Chair
Email | CV


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Faculty 

 

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Biography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vangie Aguilera
Associate Professor in Practice
Email | CV

 

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Biography

Sofía Bahena, Ed.D., is an assistant professor of education at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research interests include identifying, promoting, and leveraging community-based resources – as well as sound education policy –  to create pathways to (and through) higher education for under-represented populations in the United States. Dr. Bahena is currently working on a project, “Constructing a Latina/o Educational Pipeline in Texas”, to identify policies and other structural factors that either hinder or promote student educational attainment. This project is funded by the UTSA College of Education and Human Development Faculty Research Award. Citywide, she serves on the City of San Antonio SA2020 Commission of Education (District 7) and is President-elect for the local Harvard Club of San Antonio. Dr. Bahena is originally from San Antonio. A San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) alum, she graduated from Fox Tech High School. She received a B.A. in sociology and business administration from Trinity University (San Antonio, TX) and an Ed.M. and Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Cambridge, MA). 

 

Sofia Bahena, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
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Biography

Curtis A. Brewer is an associate professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His research interests include political action by educators, the utilization of democratic theory in educational arenas, and critical policy studies.

Dr. Brewer received his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. He also taught at Clemson University. 

 

 

  

 

 

Curtis Brewer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Email | CV

 

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Biography

I am a Professor in the social foundations at the University of Texas at San Antonio in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies. My research interests include curriculum theory. cultural studies, utopian scholarship, French social theory, nonhuman animals, archival research, representation, space and place, anarchist theory, and critical pedagogy. My larger project is connected to a rigorous social and cultural critique that is truly interdisciplinary. This spans questioning notions of truth, finding ways to connect divergent theoretical traditions, utopian visions, and rethinking common assumptions and practices.
 

 

 

 

Abraham DeLeon, Ph.D.
Professor
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Biography

Dr. Claudia García-Louis is an AfroLatin@ forum research associate, Project MALES faculty & research affiliate, and a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research approach is interdisciplinary in nature, her goals are to disrupt negative stereotypes about Latinx students, minoritized populations, and underrepresented students through the critical incorporation of culturally appropriate, asset-based methodological approaches. Her goals are to expand the definitions of Latinidad and Blackness in higher education, to make a critical contribution to a newly formed line of inquiry that explores the educational experiences of AfroLatinx, and to conduct research that highlights Latinx heterogeneity and the experiences of Latina-mamí-scholars.

 

 

 

Claudia García-Louis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
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I am a Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at The University of Texas as San Antonio. I earned my Ph. D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. I was a fellow in the Cooperative Superintendency Program, a nationally recognized doctoral program designed to prepare candidates for the superintendency. I earned my M. Ed. (Counseling), and B. A. (Spanish) from the University of Texas at Pan American. 

  

 

 

 

Encarnacion Garza, Ph.D.
Professor
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Dr. Mark S. Giles is a Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and former Director of the African American Studies program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His scholarship and teaching interests include 20th century African American history, African American education (K-20), social justice leadership, African American spirituality, and critical race studies. He earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies with a minor in United States history from Indiana University. He has extensive professional experiences in urban community affairs, post-secondary academic support services, and diversity-focused administrative positions. 

 

 

 

Marc Giles, Ph.D.
Professor
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Van Lac is an assistant professor at the University of Texas-San Antonio in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.  She earned her doctoral degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Prior to her graduate studies, she was a high school English teacher for eight years in Richmond, California, working in an under-resourced community serving primarily African-American and Latino students.  She has a Master’s degree in The Art of Teaching English from Stanford University and a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from the University of California-Berkeley.  A native of Oakland, California, Van attended K-12 public schools in the Oakland Unified School District and is a first-generation Southeast Asian college student and academic faculty member.





Van Lac, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Email | CV


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Born in a small village in upstate New York, on the Vermont and Canadian borders, Dr. Merchant taught all grade levels, in multi-cultural settings across the U.S. and on Native American reservations, prior to pursuing her Ph.D. in Administration and Policy Analysis at Stanford University. Before joining the faculty at UTSA, she was a tenured associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At UTSA, Dr. Merchant has served as the first Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at UTSA, and as Dean of the College of Education and Human Development. She now holds the Henrietta Frances Zezula Lowak Endowed Distinguished Professorship. Her research interests include diversity and educational reform, educational policy analysis, democratic school leadership in increasingly diverse and polarized political contexts, international comparative studies related to the educational and social experiences of refugee youth and their families, and longitudinal studies of school leadership.



Betty Merchant, Ph.D.
Professor
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Socorro Morales, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
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Juan Manuel Niño is an associate professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  Niño's public educator experience includes secondary science teacher, ESL teacher, athletic coach, campus, and district leader. His primary research focuses on school leadership for school improvement. 

Current research interests center on school district leadership, leadership preparation for social justice, Latino leadership and intersectionalities.  Niño's preferred method of inquiry is qualitative research to better understand the complexities of schools as evolving systems. Other interests include instructional supervision for diverse students, instructional leadership and multicultural studies.

 

 

Juan Manuel Niño
Associate Professor
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Nathern Okilwa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Okilwa earned his PhD in Educational Policy and Planning from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the ranks of higher education, Okilwa's experience and commitment to education spans 13 years of general and special education teaching in K12 settings across a variety of sociocultural contexts. Okilwa taught for six years in a rural farming community school in western Kenya. After his master's degree in special education from the University of Wyoming, Okilwa taught K12 special education in two different school districts in Wyoming. While teaching at the high school in Laramie, WY, Okilwa helped design, implement, and coordinate a program for students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities. In Austin, TX, Okilwa taught students at the Alternative Learning Center; students who were suspended from their home schools for a variety of infractions. These professional experiences as well as personal background have shaped Okilwa's scholarly interests and commitment to educational outcomes for disadvantaged or marginalized students. 

 

Nathern Okilwa
Associate Professor
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Emeritus

 

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Bruce Barnett, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
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Amaury Nora, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
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Maricela Oliva
Associate Professor Emeritus
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College of Education and Human Development
Main Building | One UTSA Circle | San Antonio, TX 78249
Phone: 210-458-4370 |
education@utsa.edu