Sylvia Martinez

Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

(812) 856-8582
School of Education / Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
IU Bloomington
ED 4260
201 N Rose Avenue
Bloomington, IN


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Chicago, 2006.

  • M.A., Sociology, University of Chicago, 2002.

  • B.A., Pomona College, 1998.


I received my PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago in 2006 and joined the IU faculty that same year. I am jointly appointed in ELPS and in the Latino Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences. My research focuses on Latino/a education, Latino/a ethnic identity development, and sociology of education issues more generally.

In the past, my research focused on issues of engagement in school. More specifically, the work examined whether Latino youth were academically challenged in their high school courses and whether students viewed these challenges as positive or negative.

Currently, I am working on two lines of inquiry. The first examines where and how Latino/a students get information about the college application process. This work suggests that despite high educational aspirations, Latino/a students struggle to access information about colleges and universities. The other explores how Latino ethnic identity among Latino/a undergraduates impacts participation at the Latino cultural center on campus.

My work has been published in journals such as: Race Ethnicity and Education, Latino Studies Journal, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, Journal of Adult Development, and Journal of Latinos and Education.


  • M. Call-Cummings, B. Dennis, S. Martinez, The role of researcher in participatory inquiry: Conversational reflections, Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies, accepted.

  • M. Call-Cummings, S. Martinez, "It wasn't racism; it was more misunderstanding." White Teachers, Latino/a Students, and conceptualizations of racism, Race Ethnicity and Education, 20(4), 561-574, 2017.

  • E.L. Vaughan, S. Martinez, O.S. Escobar, L. Kratz, School Factors and Alcohol Use: The moderating effects of nativity in a national sample of Latino adolescents, Substance Use and Misuse, 51(6), 742-751, 2016.

  • M. Call-Cummings, S. Martinez, Potentially Liberating or Unintentionally Oppressive? Perpetuating Status quo Oppression through PhotoVoice, The Qualitative Report, 12(5), 798-810, 2016

Other Activities

  • Director, Latino Studies Program
  • Adjunct Professor, Sociology