Erica Fernandez

Érica FernándezAssociate Professor

McGuffey 306C

Ph.D. Educational Policy Studies, Minor: Latino Studies, Indiana University – Bloomington 2015
M.Ed. Literacy Culture & Language Education, Indiana University – Bloomington 2009
B.S. Elementary Education, Indiana University – Bloomington 2006
B.A. Spanish Indiana University – Bloomington 2006


Érica Fernández is an associate professor of Educational Leadership and hija of Maria and Antonio Fernández. Her research is anchored and inspired by the experience of her parents who were themselves formerly undocumented Mexican immigrants. Because of the influence of her parents in her life and work, Dr. Fernández’s research specifically focuses on the parent organizing initiatives of un/documented Latina/o/x parents, which centrally positions them as educational and community leaders and activists. In doing so, her collaborative research with and alongside un/documented Latina/o/x parents challenges and expands notions of who and what counts as leaders and leadership.


2021 Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, Paula Silver Award (Most Outstanding Case of the Year)

2019 Journal of Research in Educational Leadership, Best Article of the Year

2014 University Council for Educational Administration, David L. Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar in Educational Administration and Policy

2012-2014 University Council for Educational Administration, Barbara Jackson Scholar

Research Speacializations:

  • Latina/o/x parental engagement & organizing
  • Intersection of anti-immigration reform and educational policies & practices
  • Critical Race Theory (CRT), Latinx Critical Theory (LatCrit), & Chicana Feminist Epistemology
  • Family & community engagement
  • Qualitative research (critical ethnography, testimonios, community-based participatory research, & participatory action research)

Select Publications:

*Article was recognized with the Paula Silver Award (most outstanding case of the year)for the Journal Cases in Educational Leadership during the 2021 national convening for the University Council for Educational Administration

**Article was recognized as the “Best article of the year” for the Journal of Research in Educational Leadership during the 2019 national convening for the University Council for Educational Administration

Fernández, É., Rincón, B., & *Hinojosa, J. K. (2021). (Re)creating family and reinforcing pedagogies of the home: How familial capital manifests for Students of Color pursuing STEM degrees. Race, Ethnicity, & Education.

Castrellón, L. Fernández, É, Rivera, A. & López, G. (2021). Centering loss and grief: (Re)positioning schools as a sites of collective healing in the era of COVID-19. Frontiers in Education.

Fernández, É. & Scribner, S.M.P., (2020). "Queríamos algo bueno…para nuestros hijos y también para nosotras": Centering Latina parent organizing as muxerista praxis. Journal of Education Human Resources.

Fernández, É. & Rodela, K.C. (2020). “Hay poder en numeros”: Understanding the development of a collectivist Latinx parent identity and conscientização amid an anti-immigrant climate. Teachers College Record.

*López, J. & Fernández, E. (2020). “You Never Know When You Will See Him Again”: Understanding the Intersectional Dimensions of Immigration, Indigeneity, and Language for Unaccompanied Indigenous Minors. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership.

Rincón, B., Fernández, É., & Dueñas, M.C. (2020). Anchoring comunidad: How first-and- continuing generation Latinx students in STEM engage community cultural wealth. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

Rodela, K. & Fernández, É. (2019). A Latina mother on t.v.: Challenges and complexities of intra-ethnic advocacy and representation in a Latinx community. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

**Fernández, É. & Scribner, S.M.P. (2018). “Venimos para que se oiga la voz”: Activating community cultural wealth as parental educational leadership. Journal of Research on Educational Leadership.

Fernández, É., LeChasseur, K., & Donaldson, M.L. (2017). Responses to Including Parents in Teacher Evaluation Policy: A Critical Policy Analysis. Journal of Education Policy

Fernández, É. & López, G. (2016). When parents behave badly: A critical policy analysis of parent involvement in schools. In Young, M. & Diem, S. (Eds.), Critical approaches to education policy analysis: Moving beyond tradition (pp. 111-121). New York: Springer.

Teaching Responsibilities:

EDL 382 – Community based learning & Research in Education
EDL 614 – Family, Community, & School Partnerships
EDL 762 – Culture Leadership Education
EDL 782 – Social Justice and Transformation