Personal profile


Dr. Rusoja is a Assistant Professor in SMC's Justice, Community and Leadership program. As a scholar-activist-educator, her interdisciplinary interests lie at the intersection of critical literacy and pedagogy, human rights advocacy, and practitioner research as a methodology for decolonizing research, education and organizing.

Dr. Rusoja's main research focus is on understanding and documenting community-based pedagogies of resistance within and across minoritized and marginalized populations in the U.S. Her recent study theorizes a "communal pedagogy of resistance," or the inquiry-based intersectional and intermeshing organizing practices that are mobilized integenerationally by Latinx immigrants in the United States. 

Dr. Rusoja's research, teaching and activism are interconnected and mutually informing. She has participated in and led action research projects in the U.S. and Nicaragua, taught as a member of collaborative teaching teams in the U.S., Chile and Mexico, as well as coordinated and facilitated participatory ESOL classes for adult immigrants and refugees in the U.S. As an immigrant from Venezuela, she has been actively involved in the intersectional movements for immigrant rights and educational justice for over 15 years. She has published in scholarly and community-based journals, presented in scholarly and community-based conferences, as well as co-presented research designed and carried out alongside minoritized communities.

Dr. Rusoja is committed to research, teaching and activism that contribute to ongoing social justice movements by respecting, honoring, learning from, teaching about, and working alongside communities who are directly affected by inequity. She firmly believes these communities are best positioned to understand, produce knowledge about, and lead the challenging of the systemic oppression they experience. 

Related documents

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Reading/Writing/Literacy, University of Pennsylvania

… → 2017

MSEd, Reading/Writing/Literacy, University of Pennsylvania

… → 2011

Urban Education Semester, Bank Street College of Education

… → 2006

BA, Latin American Studies, International Relations, Brown University

… → 2006

External positions

Education Director, English For Action

Jan 1 2006Jan 1 2008

Native Language Literacy Researcher and Program Developer, English For Action

… → Jan 1 2006

Associate Director, Inter-American Educational Leadership Network (IAELN), University of Pennsylvania

… → Jan 1 2018

Research Interests

  • Practitioner Research
  • Action Research
  • Decolonizing, Humanizing, and Feminist-of-Color Methodologies
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Sociocultural Perspectives on Literacy
  • Critical Literacy
  • Community-based Education
  • Community Literacies
  • (Im)migrants, Refugees, Disenfranchised Populations
  • Intersectionality and Multiplicity
  • Social Justice Movements
  • Community Leadership Development
  • School Criminalization
  • School to Prison Pipeline
  • Crimmigration
  • Freirean/Participatory Education
  • Critical Literacy
  • Restorative Justice
  • Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies


  • Leadership Studies