Curry, Julia E

Curry Rodríguez, Julia E

Associate Professor, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies (formerly Mexican American Studies)
> Statewide Senator and Executive Committee
>Faculty Fellow - UndocuSpartan Resource Center - Clark Hall
>Core Faculty Member, SJSU Human Rights Institute
>WANG Family Faculty Excellence Award for Service, 2019





Preferred: (408) 924-5310

Office Hours

Monday 10:30-11:30AM, Tuesday 2:00-4:00PM, and by appointment.

Thank you for visiting my faculty webpage! Welcome to Spring 2020 at SJSU.

My teaching schedule Spring 2020 semester.

CCS 275: Research Methodologies in Chicana & Chicano Studies (Graduate Seminar), Saturday 10:30-3:00

First Class Meeting- February 1 at the AAACNA Studies Center, King Library, 5th floor, Room 525.  Complete Calendar available in CANVAS and CCS Office.  

Schedule of classes:  Febraury 1, 8 and 22; March 7 and 21, and April 4, 11 and 25.

Communicating with me.

The best way to reach me is by email: If you wish to meet with me, my faculty office is located at Clark Hall, Room 229C. 

Chicana and Chicano Studies (formerly Mexican American Studies) is located at Clark Hall north side, second floor. I often do my work at King Library 5th floor in the Africana-Asian American-Chicano-Native American (AAACNA) Studies Center (5th floor).  

UndocuSpartan Student Resource Center (USRC)

I am a Faculty Fellow at the UndocuSpartan Student Resource Center  (USRC) where I hold consulting hours, serve on their advisory board, and assist with programming and training.    The USRC is located at Clark Hall Room 100H-G.  Check their website for informaiton at:

I have worked to institutionalize services, support and resources for immigrant students (called "Dreamers" by politicians). My advocacy work began in 2002. This work led to semi-official working committees in September 2014 and finally in May of 2016 to make the UndocuSpartan Center at SJSU a reality. In 2016 we hosted the first ever UndocuSpartan welcome reception.  Finally in Spring 2018 - the collaborative efforts and a supportive administration finally made the Center a reality.  Today you can find assistance at the UndocuSpartan Resource Center at the Diaz Compean Student union and by contacting Ms. Ana Navarrete Aviña.  

SJSU has more than 700 students classified as Undocumented with various policy statues that may provide them access to in-state tuition, some financial aid, and possibly work permits.  These students come from various parts of the world and have mostly grown up in California.  The VP for Student Affairs and our previous Provost- Andy Feinstein  supported the establishment of a Resource Center for Undocumented Immigrant Students.

Faculty Adviser 

I am the Faculty Adviser for the Student Advocates for Higher Education (SAHE) for AB540 Students and Allies  (since its founding in 2003), and the MAS Graduate Student Association, XGC (Chicana/o/x Graduate Council). If you need advice please contact me. You can also see some AB540 Resources in my AB540 Students and Allies Course Page (please note that some are outdated, but the sources are still viable and give some advise on where to go for particular updated information).

Awards and Recognition

Wang Family Faculty Excellence Recipient in Service, 2019. This is a CSU Statewide honor.  (see:

SJSU 2013-2014 SJSU Distinguished Service Professor.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, United States,1988
  • Master of Arts, Sociology, University of Texas At Austin, United States, 1986
  • Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, California, United States, 1980

Licenses and Certificates

  • CSU's Sexual Misconduct Prevention Program, 1 hour, August 21, 2019
  • EDU:  Eliminate Campus Sexual Misconduct, 2 hours, 2019
  • EDU:  Preventing Discrimination and Harassment for Non-Supervisors, 2 hours, July 2018
  • EDU:  Clery Act Basics, 1 hour, 2019
  • EDU:  CSU Data Security and Privacy, 1 hours, 2019
  • EDU:  CSU FERPA, 1 hour, 2019
  • Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) IRB Members - Basic/Refresher Curriculum, United States, 2014


My Childhood and Educational Path

I emigrated to the U.S. from México with my mother and sister in 1962.  I grew up in Southern California where I began school at Keenan Elementary School.  I graduated from Bassett High School in La Puente.  I went to college as an Educational Opportunity Program student and graduated with a BA in Sociology from UCSB.  In 1975 I spent a year on Education Abroad attending the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in México City.  After completing my BA I worked at UCSB for 2 years.  In 1980, I continued  my education pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Graduate school became an aspiration because of the positive encouragement from magnificent teachers who encouraged me and modelled in their teaching a commitment to growing the Chicana and Chicano profesoriate.  Those educators gave me the aspiration to develop a scholarly prsence, skills, and ethical values that guide me in my vocation.   I received generous financial support from EOP, Private Scholarships, and the American Sociological Association's Minority Fellowship to support my education.  As a graduate student I was helped by financial aid and various research assistantships at UT Austin. 

I am especially thankful to generous people who opened their homes and created jobs for me when I had no money to stay in school - they include Dr. Alberto G. Mata and Dr. Rudy De La Garza.  They insitlled in me the value of generosity and humility as well as a commitment to persevere and to pay it forward.  

In 2020 I will have been a professor 32 years.  I am inspired by students and colleagues who ethically work at building equality by engage in committed action in higher education.  

Professional Experience

I was an Institute of American Cultures Post-Doctoral Fellow at UCLA where I studied health-seeking behavior of immigrants with Dr. Hayes Bautista and Dr. Ruth Zambrana.  My first Assistant Professor post was at Arizona State University's Sociology Department (1988-1990).  In 1990 I was recruited to join the faculty at UC Berkeley in the Chicano Studies Program of the Ethic Studies Department as an Assistant Professor. In 1998 I joined the Chicano/Latino Policy Research Center following denial of tenure from 1998-2000. In August 2000 I joined SJSU's Mexican American Studies Department when it was part of the College of Social Work.  I achieved tenure but not promotion in 2006, and promotion to Associate Professor in 2013.  In Fall 2018 I applied for promotion to Full Professor.  Although I received positive reviews from my department, my college, and my college dean, the URTP did not recommend my promotion and the university president agreed with URTP.  In 2019 I again applied for promotion - to date I have been recommended for promotion by the first three committees.   

My Research

My research focuses on immigrant women and children, immigration policies, language minority educational experiences, racial and sexual stratification, and other issues pertaining to Chicana/os in the United States. I have conducted comparative research on immigration in Mexico, England, France and Spain.  I primarily use qualitative methodology (e.g., life history, oral history and participant observation and field research) in conducting my research.

My current research project is based on Mexicano rachers in San Luis Colorado - with my colleague, Devon Peña. A second project involves the idea of immgrant contributions drawing on the work of Ernesto Galarza that focuses on Mexico and the U.S. with Dr. Hiram Angel of Universidad de Guadalajara.

A newer research project involves using culture and folk art as cultural capital in developing educational success (e.g., folklorico, embroidery, music, and drawing) inspired by the MUSE class I developed in 2002 which drew on the rich public art or downtown San José.

I present versions of my research projects at the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, the Oral History Association, and the American Sociological Association.

My Leadership in Elected Offices in Professional Organizations

Holding elected leadership roles was not something I aspired to.  Yet, I often take leadership roles and have been elected into offices in various professional organizations. In the National Association for Chicana and Chicano studies (NACCS) I have been the General Coordinator (2000), secretary (1998, newsletter editor (1999) and the Northern California Regional Representative (1998-2000). Currently I am the Executive Director of NACCS. While I was a graduate student at UT Austin, I was elected as the organizing and Founding Chair of the Chicana Caucus of NACCS (1985-90). In Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) I held many elected offices, including Chair in 1998-99. In the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) I served as the Chair of the Discrimination Committee from 1989-91 and co-organized the conference program for the annual meetings in 1989 with Teresa Montini. In the American Sociological Association (ASA) I was the Organizing and Founding Chair of the Section on Latina and Latino Sociology with Dr. Homer Garcia.  I also served as a Council Member for the Section on Sex and Gender and served as Treasurer/Secretary for the Section on Race and Ethnic Relations. At SJSU I have been elected to serve as Academic Senate for the College  of Social Sciences.  Spring 2019 I was elected as one of three Academic Senators for the entire CSU system (ASCSU).  I was also elected as the ASCSU senator to the SJSU Senate Executive Committee.

My Roles as Mentor and Adviser

As a professor at SJSU I have served/or serve as advisor to various student groups such as MUJER, MEChA, McNair Scholars, MASGAS (now Xicana/o/x Gradaute Council -XGC), Student Advocates for Higher Education (SAHE), and Balet Folklórico Luna y Sol.

Mentor Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP)

The CDIP has been instrumental in building the Pipeline of minority students to the professoriate.  I have the honor of serving as mentor for the following former and current students:

  • Horacio N. Roque Ramírez, completed his Ph.D in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. Went on to achieve Associate Professor status at UC Santa Barbara where he taught and mentored many students until his untimely death in 2015.
  • Jenny M. Luna, completed her Ph.D. in Native American Studies at UC Davis.  Went on to tenure track posts at New Mexico State University and CSU Channel Islands.  
  • Frank Ortega, completed his Ph.D. in Sociology from Texas A&M.  He is currently an Assistant Professor at Diablo Valley College.
  • Juan Pablo Mercado, completed his Ph.D. in History at UC Los Angeles in 2018.  Fall 2016 he joined the faculty of Chabot College as an Assistant Professor, and now he is an Adjunct Professor at SJSU.
  • Rocio Alvarez, Ph.D. in Philosophy in progress at Texas A&M University.  I serve as her external dissertation adviser and her CDIP mentor, beginning Fall 2019.

My Publications and Research

Some of my publications are found in Decolonial Food for Thought:  Mexican-Origin Food, Foodways, and Social Movements (2017), the Journal of Equity and Excellence in Education, Volume 45(3): 525-538, Mothers, Mothering and Motherhood Across Cultural Differences (2014) Re-Emerging Native Women (2003), Bilingual Research Journal (2001), The Power of Language (2001). Colorlines (May 1999), Americanos: Latino Life in the United States (1999), Mexicanas at Work (1988), Chicano Politics after the Eighties (1988), and The Use of Social Services by Undocumented Aliens in Texas (1984).

Currently I am working on a 2-volume edited book with Dr. Devon G. Peña (University of Washington and the Acequia Insitute) to be published by the University of Arizona Press with the title:  Voces de Agua y Tierra.

Extramural Grants

The Ford Foundation supported my work to document services for Bi-national Students (i.e., immigrant students), 2003-2006, $150,000.  In this project I collaborated with a group of grassroots education advocate from Mexico and the U.S. IME-BECAS, 2014-2015 $43,000 (in collaboration with Fernanda Karp).  Juntos Podemos/IME Becas, 2015-2016 $40,000 with $40,000 match from the SJSU President's Scholarship Fund.  The SJ Mexican Consulate has awarded us $16,000 for scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year.  CLFSA graciously pledged 15,000 as we received no campus match this year.  2017-2018 Parents Alliance, $4,400 for student scholarships.  2018-The SJ Mexican Consulate has awarded us $16,000 for scholarships for the 2018 Calendar year. 2019- The SJ Mexican Consulate is  for the Mexican Government's IME Becas Program a $10,000 grant for scholarships administered through the CLFSA.  We are the only university in the San José Consulate region to receive this grant in 2019!

Teaching History

Before coming to SJSU I taught at both gradaute and undergraduate courses at UCLA (1988), Arizona State University (1988-1990)*, UC Berkeley (1990-1998)*, and Holy Names College (1999-2000).  I was a visiting professor at York University (2003) in Toronto, Canada. (*these were tenure-track appointments).

My SJSU history, accomplishments and contributions to my department, College and University.

I joined the faculty of the Mexican American Studies Department at San José State University in 2000 while there was still a College of Social Work.  I designed and teach the core graduate seminars in Theory (CCS 210) and Methodology (CCS 275); and undergraduate courses in  Gender and Sexuality (MAS 160), Human Immigration (MAS 175), Political Economy (MAS 120),  Leadership and Advocacy (MAS 196E), and Race & Ethnicity in Public Space (MAS 30).  

 I regularly contribute to the department curriculum offerings for the undergraduate program by developing MAS 11 (which is now MAS 30 a GE Area D1 course), MAS 175, MAS 196 (an experimental class on leadership and advocacy).  For the Gradaute Program I developed MAS 210 - the core Theory Graduate course for our department, and revamped the MAS 275 Research Methods Course.  I  successfully retained GE status for MAS 160 in Area S.  

In 2014-15 I led the work for the proposal for the major and I developed the MAS 001-Introduction to Chicana and Chicano Studies which will serve as the introduction for our BA major. I assisted in the development of MAS 2 (Library Skills), MAS 151 (Spanish for Spanish Speakers) and MAS 152 (Theory) 007-Floklorico, and the 147-Mexican Music .  I led the work on the Program Self-Study for Program Planning in 2014 and did the preliminary work for the Department Major. I represented the department at the Undergraduate Studies Committee meetings fielding questions on our proposal.  I assisted with language for revisions requested by both the UGS and Curriculum & Research Committees. 

In 2016 I celebrated my 15th year at SJSU and was referred to as a "Millenial Professor" along with all faculty hired in 2000 at SJSU!  I am keeping that title-because it situates me and it inspires me.


I served as Undergraduate Adviser for MAS from 2000-20012. I have served on various university, department and college committees (Research, Curriculum, Program Planning, RTP, etc).  From 2006 to 2012 I organized the department graduation ceremony. I am a proud senator representing the College of Social Sciences on the SJSU Academic Senate since 2015 and was a member of the Organization & Development Policy Committee where I became familiar with faculty policy development and shared governance.  I have attended the SJSU Commencement at Spartan Stadium as greeter, hooder, and marshall every year since 2001 (my first spring at SJSU), except 2017 when I was on sabbatical.  In 2019 I served as the college name reader and department announcer. While we were part of the College of Social Work, I attended all College Graduation Ceremonies. I was once a speaker for the December graduation of the department of Sociology invited by the students.  In 2019 I was the keynote speaker for the Chicano Commencement.  Since teh changed commencement format I have served as name reader for the College of Social Sciences.

Professional Memberships and Leadership Positions Held

I am a member of  the National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies (NACCS), the Oral History Association, and the American Sociological Association.

I am a lifetime member of the Chicano/Latino Faculty and Staff Association and have served as it's President (2010-2012), Scholarship Coordinator (2013 to present) and Ex-Oficio President (2012-2013).  With the CLFSA I coordinate the Dr. Ernesto Galarza Scholarship for SJSU continuing student activists for the Chicana/o community and transfer students primarily from SJCC and EVC. 

Since  2014  with support of former University Provost, Andy Feinstein I  worked on the development of our Immigrant Student Resources.

For my service to students I have received release time from the Exceptional Service to Students  since 2015 in support of this work.  

 In 2019 because of my recognition as the Wang Family Excellence Award I was invited to join the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, of which I am a life-time member.