Cheryl E. MatiasCheryl E. Matias, Ph.D.

Director of Secondary Education and MIC
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Master’s with Initial Certification Program
335 Dickey Hall
(859) 257-3230

Dr. Cheryl E. Matias was recently awarded the 2020 American Educational Research Association Mid-Career Award for her work on racial justice in teacher education! She is a Full Professor and Director of Secondary Teacher Education at the University of Kentucky. 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 teacher education 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-Stuyvesant, 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 delivers national talks and workshops on whiteness, racial justice, and diversity. She was awarded the 2014 American Educational Research Association’s Division K (Teacher Education) Innovations in Research on Diversity in Teacher Education Award and the 2015 and 2017 Colorado Rosa Parks Diversity Award. In 2015, she was awarded Excellence in Research by the School of Education & Human Development at University of Colorado Denver. In 2016 she was awarded the university’s 2016 Graduate School’s Dean Mentoring Award. In 2018 she was ranked as the top 25 women in higher education making difference in the journal, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Some of her publications can be found in Race, Ethnicity, and Education, Teacher Education Quarterly, Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, Equity and Excellence, Journal of Teacher Education and Multicultural Perspectives.

Matias’s first solo-authored book entitled Feeling White: Whiteness, Emotionality, and Education earned the 2017 Honorable Mention for the Society of Professors of Education. Her second book, Surviving Becky(s): Pedagogies for Deconstructing Whiteness and Gender, came out January 2020 and has already been nominated for the AESA book award. Her third book Critical Theoretical Research Methods in Education comes out early 2021. She is a motherscholar of three, including boy-girl twins, a runner, an avid Lakers fan, and Bachata ballroom dancer.

Vita (PDF)


Research Categories: Race, Whiteness, Racial Justice Teaching and Education, Emotionality