Cheryl E. Matias

Cheryl E. Matias

Dr. Cheryl E. Matias is an assistant professor in the School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) at the University of Colorado Denver. She is also an affiliate faculty for the University of Colorado Denver’s Social Science masters program and Freshmen Year Seminar Program. She is the faculty founder of Research Advocacy in Critical Education (R.A.C.E.) a collaborative think tank that brings together local community activists, educators, students and community members in the pursuit for racial and social justice in education. Her research focuses on race and ethnic studies in education with a theoretical focus on critical race theory, critical whiteness studies, critical pedagogy and feminism of color. Specifically, she uses a feminist of color approach to deconstruct the emotionality of whiteness in urban teaching and how it impacts urban education. Her other research interest is on motherscholarship and supporting woman of color and motherscholars in the academy.


A former K-12 teacher in both South Central, Los Angeles Unified School District and Bed-Stuy, New York City Department of Education, she earned her bachelors in cultural communication from University of California San Diego, teaching credential at San Diego State University, and her masters in Social and Multicultural Foundations at California State University, Long Beach. She earned her doctorate at UCLA with an emphasis in race and ethnic studies in education.

She has delivered talks at the University of Washington, Seattle, University of New Mexico, Teachers College Columbia University, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, University of Colorado, Boulder, Michigan State, and many more.

She recently was awarded the 2014 American Educational Research Association’s Division K (Teacher Education) Innovations in Research on Diversity in Teacher Education Award and the 2014 Colorado Rosa Parks Diversity Award.

In 2015, she was awarded Researcher of the Year by the School of Education & Human Development at University of Colorado Denver and is the SEHD university wide 2016 Research of the Year candidate. Some of her publications can be found in Race, Ethnicity, and Education, Teacher Education Quarterly, Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, Equity and Excellence and Multicultural Perspectives.

Recently, she finished her first solo-authored book entitled Feeling White: Whiteness, Emotionality, and Education. The book will be out spring 2016.

She is a motherscholar of twins, an avid Lakers fan, and bachata ballroom dancer with her partner.