Marcos Pizarro

Pizarro, Marcos

Associate Dean, College of Education
Professor, Chicanx Studies




Preferred: (408) 924-3607

Office Hours

Tuesdays 2-2:45pm @ the Centro


  • PhD, Education, UCLA, 1993
  • BA, Urban Studies: Urban Education, Stanford University, 1989


Marcos Pizarro began teaching in Chicana and Chicano Studies [CCS] at San José State University in 1999. He received his B.A. in Urban Studies from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from UCLA's Graduate School of Education. A former school teacher, Pizarro works with Chicanx and Latinx students at various stages in their schooling to develop collaborative interventions that include strategies to aid them in their efforts to succeed in school and to create social and racial justice in their communities.  His work to help develop the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center at SJSU has led to a tranformative model for Chicanx/Latinx student engagement that has enhanced Latinx student sense of belonging and academic success.

In 2005, he published a book on his research with Chicanx youth in East Los Angeles and the Yakima Valley of Washington State. The book, "Chicanas and Chicanos in School," explores the relationship between the identities of Chicanx students and their academic performance with a focus on lessons that will aid those interested in enhancing the educational performance of these youth (see below for a link to the book). Currently, he coordinates MAESTRXS, a social justice organization developing and implementing a transformative education model with Latinx communities. He also works with schools on the development and implementation of Latinx Studies curricula to enhance Latinx student engagement, based on a year-long project that involved co-developing and teaching a UC-certified Latinx Literature course in a local high school. Pizarro is the co-coordinator of the Institute for Teachers of Color Committed to Racial Justice (ITOC), a project that provides an annual training for teachers invested in transformative practice for racial justice.  This project has led to a series of publications that highlight the challenges and revolutionary contributions of teachers of Color in US schools (see "Publications & Presentations" link at the top of this page).

In 2019, he was appointed the Associate Dean of SJSU's Lurie College of Education.  In that role he is committed to developing and supporting abolitionist, emancipatory, culturally sustaining approaches to the preparation and mentoring of educational leaders across all levels of schooling.  He is co-coordinator of the college's Ethnic Studies Residency Program, a project with East Side Union High School District that trains future social studies teachers in Ethnic Studies pedagogy and curriculum to prepare them to meet the needs of the upcoming high school Ethnic Studies requirement in California high schools.

Information on the College of Education, CCS, the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center, MAESTRXS and ITOC can be found using the links at the top and bottom of this page.