Courtney Peña is a PhD candidate in Educational Linguistics at the Graduate School of Education and is trained in ethnographic and sociolinguistic field methods. Her current research is a qualitative study that looks at school-wide practices of equity at a small, linguistically complex charter high school in a large metropolitan area in Northern California. Through audio and video classroom data, artifact analysis of student productions, and interviews with students, teachers, and administrators, she examines the ways educators address the challenges of educating youngsters in marginalized contexts.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, she served as a Graduate Public Service (GPS) Fellow at Stanford's Haas Center for Public Service and is currently a Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Fellow through the Vice Provost of Graduate Education (VPGE). She is a Graduate Scholar-in-Residence at El Centro Chicano y Latino where from 2014-2018 she served as program coordinator for the Frosh Scholars Program, a transitional/mentorship based program for first year students. Prior to coming to Stanford she worked as a research specialist at Arizona State where she received her MA and BA.

Current Role at Stanford

El Centro Chicano Graduate Scholar in Residence (2018-2020)
Stanford Graduate Summer Institute: Jumpstart Your Academic Job Search (Summer)
Graduate Student Coordinator for the Praxis Fellowship (Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters)
Coordinator for El Centro Chicano y Latino's Frosh Scholars Program (Fall and Winter Quarters)
UAR56: Navigating Your First Year at Stanford. Co-Instructor (Fall and Winter Quarters)
CSRE157: Racial Justice and Solidarity. Co-Instructor (Winter Quarter)
CSRE199: Preparation for Senior Honors Thesis. Teaching Assistant (Winter Quarter)

Honors & Awards

  • VPGE Community Award, Office of the Vice Provost of Graduate Education, Stanford University (2019)
  • Community Impact Award, Stanford Alumni Association (2018)
  • Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence Doctoral Fellowship Program (DARE), Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Stanford (2017-2019)
  • Travel Award (Minority Dissertation Fellowship), American Educational Research Association (2018)
  • Graduate Public Service Fellowship, Haas Center for Public Service (2017-2018)
  • Graduate Scholar in Residence, El Centro Chicano (2017-2019)
  • Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award, Stanford University (2017)
  • Dissertation Support Grant, Graduate School of Education (2017)
  • Nomellini-Olivier Fellowship, Graduate School of Education (2013-2017)
  • EDGE Fellowship, Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Stanford (2013-2017)

Service, Volunteer and Community Work

  • Graduate School of Education, Mentorship Program, Stanford University



All Publications

  • Policing and Performing Culture: Rethinking “Culture” and the Role of the Arts in Culturally Sustaining Pedagogie Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies: Teaching and Learning for Justice in a Changing World Pena, C., Wong, C. Teachers College Press. 2017
  • The Impact of the Ford Fellowship Program in the Creation of Latina/o Academic Generations Journal of Hispanic Higher Education Vélez-Ibáñez, C., Szecsy, E., Peña, C. 2013