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Gabriel Rodriguez


Gabriel Rodriguez (he/him) is an assistant professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He received his Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from UIUC in 2018. His research and teaching are motivated by a concern for educational justice. Rodriguez’s interdisciplinary research interests lay at the intersection of urban and suburban education, critical race studies, critical youth studies, education policy, and teacher activism. His scholarship has two areas of focus. The first centers on learning from high school youth of color and how race, space, and place shapes their identities, sense of belonging, and activism in demographically changing [sub]urban schools and communities. The second focuses on teachers of color in urban schools and how they advocate for educational justice and organize against market-based reforms. His qualitative research draws from anthropological and sociological perspectives. Rodriguez has published articles in journals such as Anthropology & Education Quarterly, Equity & Excellence in Education, Race Ethnicity and Education, Urban Review, Journal of Latinos and Education, and Berkeley Review of Education. He is the recipient of a National Academy of Education Spencer Dissertation Fellowship (2017) and most recently was an American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Faculty Fellow (2022).

Key Professional Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Ph.D., Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2018

MA, Political Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009

BA, Political Science and Speech Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007


Rodriguez, G. (2023). Complicating College Access: Understanding Compliance and Resistance for Latinx Youth in Suburbia. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 54(4), 349-371.  link >

Rodriguez, G. (2023). From Troublemakers to Pobrecitos: Honoring the Complexities of Survivorship of Latino Youth in a Suburban High School. Journal of Latinos and Education, 22(2), 595-612.  link >

Rodriguez, G. (2023). “I’m Not Wanting to be a Martyr”: Learning from Latina Educator Activists in Chicago Public Schools During COVID-19. Urban Review, 55(5), 584-604.  link >

Tirado, J., Rodriguez, G., Monreal, T., & Ender, T. (2023). Civics and Latinidad: Letters to the past with hopes to the future. In K. Duncan (Ed.), Civic engagement in communities of color: Pedagogy for learning and life in a more expansive democracy (pp. 31-40). Teachers College Press.

Drake, R. D., & Rodriguez, G. (2022). Nice to Whom? How Midwestern Niceness Undermines Educational Equity. Berkeley Review of Education, 12(1).  link >

Rodriguez, G., & González Ybarra, M. (2022). ‘This is What I go Through’: Latinx Youth Facultades in Suburban Schools in the Era of Trump. Race Ethnicity and Education, 25(7), 922-938.  link >

Rodriguez, G. (2021). Beyond Wokeness: How White Educators Can Work Toward Dismantling Whiteness and White Supremacy in Suburban Schools. In K. Swalwell, & D. Spikes (Eds.), Anti-Oppressive Education in "Elite" Schools: Promising Practices and Cautionary Tales From the Field (pp. 53-62). Teachers College Press.

Rodriguez, G. (2020). Suburban schools as sites of inspection: Understanding Latinx youth’s sense of belonging in a suburban high school. Equity and Excellence in Education, 53(1-2), 14-29.  link >

Rodriguez, G. (2018). Review: D. Delgado Bernal and E. Alemán, Jr.'s Transforming Educational Pathways for Chicana/o Students: A Critical Race Feminista Praxis. Bilingual Research Journal, 41(3).  link >

Larson, R. W., Izenstark, D., Rodriguez, G., & Perry, S. C. (2016). The Art of Restraint: How Experienced Program Leaders Use Their Authority to Support Youth Agency. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 26(4), 845-863.  link >