Curry, Julia E

Curry Rodríguez, Julia E.

Professor, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
   (formerly Mexican American Studies)
> Statewide Senator and Executive Committee
>WANG Family Faculty Excellence Award for Service, 2019
> Faculty Member, SJSU Human Rights Institute





Preferred: (408) 924-5310

Office Hours

Via ZOOM - Tuesdays 1:00-2:00pm, Wednesdays 10:30-11:30am, and by appointment.

August 19, 2021

Thank you for visiting my faculty webpage.  Now in the third semester since we have been negotiating Covid-19,  I will continue to communicate with anyone wishing to contact me through this webpage, my campus email, and with ZOOM meeting options.  

During COVID-19 the CDC, the County of Santa Clara and the State of Califonria have placed limits on our public exposure in an effort to help prevent the spread of the virus, I will continue to limit my campus presence.   

To my students - current and past:  I am communicating with you using my rosters and CANVAS email.  I want to know you are well and to let you know I am thinking of you.  If you need my help, know that I will help you in any way I can, just ask me.  

My teaching schedule Fall 2021 semester 

These classes are synchronous taught on SJSU- ZOOM - Links are available      in CANVAS.  

CCS 210: Foundations of Chicana & Chicano Studies (Graduate Seminar), Saturday 10:30-3:30 -  Classes will be on line, find instructions by logging into our class CANVAS page using your regular one.sjsu sign-in.  

Class Dates:  August 21 & 28, September 11 & 25; October 9 & 23; November 6 & 20;  and December 4.  

CCS 030-10:  Race and Ethnicity in Public Space, Tuesday 4:00-6:45PM.  Zoom links are available in the class Canvas page.

Communicating with me.

The best way to reach me is by email: If you wish to meet with me by zoom send me an email message I will send you a calendar invitation with the  zoom link and informaiton.  To set up a time, please send me four times and days you area available so I can coordinate a meeting time.  

The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies (formerly Mexican American Studies) is repopulating per the campus administration policies.  Check the department website for information:

King Library is open and available to students.  I usually use the 5th floor in the Africana-Asian American-Chicano-Native American (AAACNA) Studies Center (5th floor) - as a place to begin any race/ethnic studies research.  The director, Kathryn Blackmer Reyes is available for reference advising, email her at

The Library continues to be an important source of materials for my research and class preparation.  If you wish to access information please check the Library Website for services and availability:

UndocuSpartan Student Resource Center (USRC)

The UndocuSpartan Student Resource Center  (USRC) is located at Clark Hall Room 100H-G.  Check their website for information and resources at:

A Note:

During this emergency/crisis  we are living, please be aware that some people are now even more at risk because of various inequities and marginality due to immigrant status, economic, and outsider realities.  Please care for each other and speak out - post - make assaults known.  A good place to document hate is:  Do not be silent! - but be safe.

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

(This information seems like a million years ago, but these recognitions continue to be a reminder to me that my work as an educator has meaning).  


  • 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 gracious encouragement I experienced from educators who encouraged me and modelled in their teaching a commitment to growing the Chicana and Chicano professoriate.  Those educators gave me the aspiration to develop a scholarly presence, 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.  My graduate studies were also made possible with financial aid grants, teaching and 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, and Linda Espino.  They insitlled in me the value of generosity and humility as well as a commitment to persevere and to pay it forward.  

In 2021 I will have been a professor 33 years at various universities.  I am inspired by students and colleagues who do their work with ethics to build equality by engaging in committed action in society and specifically 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 and finally achieved promotion in 2020 with the support of CFA and several colleagues who encouraged me to persevere.  Chicanas constitue about 1% of all Professors even in 2021!

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 to which I aspired.  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).  In ASCSU I serve on the Faculty Affairs Committee, in the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ad-hoc committee, and the CDIP committee.  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.

I am a leader challenging harassment, bullying, retaliation, and hate supporting students and colleagues at SJSU and elsewhere.  

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, completed her Ph.D. in Philosophy Texas A&M University in 2021.  I serve as her external dissertation adviser and her CDIP mentor, beginning Fall 2019.
  • Anthony Bencomo, Ph.D. Student, Politics, UCSC, current.

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, COSS, and the 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 is 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.

Service - Academic Assignment

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 2013 I organized the department graduation ceremony.

I am a proud and committed senator representing the College of Social Sciences on the SJSU Academic Senate since 2015.  I was a member of the Organization & Development Policy Committee where I became familiar with faculty policy development and shared governance.

I proudly participated 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. I consider this event the only community event at SJSU which brings us together as a whole community - it is my joy to meet parents and extended family members and to see students who were in my GE classes as Frosh graduate!  This is why I am a professor.

After the move to fragmented college commencements I have 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, I have been madrina many times.

Professional Memberships and Elected Leadership Positions

I am a life-time 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.