Erin L Castro portrait
  • Director, University of Utah Prison Education Project
  • 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


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.