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.

Dr. Castro is the Director and Co-Founder of the University of Utah Prison Education Project (UPEP). UPEP is a collaborative multidisciplinary effort providing rigorous higher educational opportunities to individuals incarcerated in Draper prisons. She is also a strategic organizing member of the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison.

Dr. Castro earned a PhD in Education Policy Studies and a minor in Gender Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She teaches courses for the Honors College and Gender Studies at the University of Utah.



  • Alliance for Higher Education in Prison (AHEP), Strategic Organizing Member, 06/01/2016 - present
  • 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