Courtney Peña is the Program Manager for Frosh 101 and Transfer 101. Prior to joining the VPUE, Courtney completed her PhD in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford where she researched issues of equity, inclusion, and accessibility in education. Courtney began her higher ed journey as a community college student before transferring to Arizona State University where she completed her B.A. in Spanish and M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction. She worked for several years as a research specialist at ASU prior to beginning her doctoral program at Stanford in 2013. She has published research on critical pedagogy as well as issues of diversity in higher education. From 2014-2018, Courtney was the program coordinator for the Frosh Scholars Program, a mentorship-based transition program hosted by El Centro Chicano y Latino and Academic Advising. She also served as a Graduate Scholar-in-Residence at El Centro from 2017-2019 and was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award in 2017 for her work with both undergraduate and graduate student mentorship on campus. She is passionate about building intentional communities where students can grow and belong and was awarded the Community Impact Award from the Stanford Alumni Association in 2018 as well as the VPGE's Community Award in 2019. Courtney is a DARE Fellow as well as a former EDGE and Haas GPS Fellow. She has been an instructor and teaching assistant for more than 20 undergraduate courses at Stanford. In her free time, Courtney enjoys exploring the Bay Area, watching science fiction, and bringing people together in community.

Current Role at Stanford

Program Manager, Frosh 101 / Transfer 101

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