Erin L Castro

Erin L Castro portrait
  • Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership&Policy



  • Ph.D., Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Project: "First I'd Put Some Windows In This School": A Critical Race Ethnography of the Illinois College and Career Readiness Pilot Program.
  • Graduate Minor, Gender Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.S.Ed., Higher Education, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Honors & Awards

  • Early Career Teaching Award. University Teaching Committee, University of Utah, 03/01/2017
  • UofU MUSE Professor, Undergraduate Studies, University of Utah. Project MUSE, University of Utah, 11/01/2016
  • College of Education Early Career Teaching Award. University of Utah, 05/02/2016
  • Faculty Fellow. Undergraduate Studies, University of Utah, 08/2014
  • Outstanding Student Medal Recipient, convocation speaker. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 04/2012


Guided by a commitment to educational equity and justice, Dr. Castro's research, teaching, and service seek to understand the specific responsibility of public higher education in an increasingly divided and unequal society. Her work examines material and discursive barriers to postsecondary education for systematically disadvantaged populations, including incarcerated, felony disenfranchised, and justice-involved individuals. 

She earned a PhD in Education Policy Studies and a minor in Gender Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Castro is currently an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy and an instructor with the Honors College and Gender Studies at the University of Utah.

She was a former Faculty Fellow with the Office of Undergraduate Studies and a member of the Campus Transfer Task Force at the University of Utah. This aspect of her research agenda examines transfer student experience and mobliity at the University of Utah.

Dr. Castro is an Instructor Affiliate with the Education Justice Project, a program providing higher educational opportunities to students who are incarcerated at Danville Correctional Center in central Illinois.



  • American Educational Research Association (AERA), Member, 08/2007 - present
  • Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Member, 08/2008 - present
  • American Educational Studies Association (AESA), Member; Executive Council, 08/2006 - present
  • International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI), Member, 08/2007 - 08/2012
  • Education Justice Project (EJP), Faculty Affiliate, 08/2011 - present

In the Media