SJSU’s Julia Curry Rodriguez Named Wang Family Excellence Award Recipient

Dr. Julia E. Curry Rodriguez has received the 2019 Wang Family Excellence Award for Outstanding Faculty Service.

Dr. Julia E. Curry Rodriguez has received the 2019 Wang Family Excellence Award for Outstanding Faculty Service.

Media contacts:

Robin McElhatton, SJSU Media Relations Specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

San Jose, Calif.—The California State University Chancellor’s Office announced today that San Jose State University’s Julia E. Curry Rodríguez, an associate professor of Mexican American Studies, is the recipient of the 2019 Wang Family Excellence Award for Outstanding Faculty Service.

Curry was selected for the prestigious award for her unwavering support of students, specifically immigrant and undocumented students in her two decades of service to SJSU. Since 2009, she has worked with the Chicano/Latino Faculty and Staff Association to provide scholarships for undocumented students, including the establishment of full-semester scholarships. She advocated institutionalizing services, support and resources for immigrant students, leading to the development of SJSU’s UndocuSpartan Resource Center in 2018.

“I have worked with thousands of students—many of whom are first-generation, immigrants or of immigrant origin,” says Curry. “Their tenacity, perseverance, humility, dignity and grace inspire me daily. Their example of lived commitment and struggle guide how I live out my profession.”

Curry has mentored five doctoral students through the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP), two of whom are now CSU faculty. She also serves as the faculty advisor to Student Advocates for Higher Education, an undocumented student support group founded in 2003, and the Chicano/a/x Graduate Council.

Julia Curry Rodriguez received SJSU's Distinguished Service Award in 2014.

Julia Curry Rodriguez received SJSU’s Distinguished Service Award in 2014.

She was instrumental in developing a new bachelor’s degree in Mexican American Studies, coordinates with the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies to address legal challenges, such as the Supreme Court Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)/Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) case, and organizes symposia covering policies related to in-state tuition and the California Dream Act.

Curry has also maintained an active research, scholarship and creative activities agenda. In 2003, she received a grant from the Ford Foundation to document services for binational students who immigrate to the U.S., then migrate back to their home regions in Mexico. Other recent research includes an article on “Decolonial Food for Thought: Mexican-Origin Food, Foodways, and Social Movements” in the Journal of Equity and Excellence in Education and a reader entitled Mothers, Mothering and Motherhood Across Cultural Differences.

The SJSU 2014 Distinguished Service Award recipient, Curry has been featured in SJSU’s My Story is Here campaign and in Washington Square magazine.

The Wang Family Excellence Award recognizes four outstanding faculty members and one outstanding staff member who, through extraordinary commitment and dedication, have distinguished themselves by exemplary contributions and achievements. Learn more about the CSU 2019 Wang Excellence Award recipients online.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.