Faculty Profile for Dr. Rachel Romero

profile photo for Dr. Rachel Romero
Dr. Rachel Romero
Regents' Teacher — Sociology
THH 449
phone: (512) 245-3035

Biography Section

Biography and Education

I was born and raised in Havana City, Cuba, and immigrated to the US as a teenager. Our family settled in a suburb outside of Dallas, and I have lived in Texas since. Currently, I live in Austin, where I enjoy spending time in the outdoors—parks, hikes, and city walks. I love summers, museums, yoga, sharing meals with family and friends, and the arts broadly defined. My husband is my favorite thinking-partner.

Ph.D. in Sociology, Texas A&M University - College Station
M.A. in Sociology, Texas A&M University - College Station
B.S. in Sociology, University of North Texas
B.S. in Spanish, University of North Texas

Teaching Interests

My teaching philosophy is informed by critical and humanistic practices that share an affinity with feminists, anti-racists, postmodern, and post-colonial approaches. I encourage democratic participation in the classroom and always aim to create a dialogic space where the students and I, as a community of learners, can deepen socio-emotional awareness, criticality, curiosity, creativity, and play.

Popular Culture and Society
Qualitative Research Methods
Arts-based Research Methods
Social Inequalities
Sociological Theory

Research Interests

My research interests are interdisciplinary, qualitative driven, and focus on culture. I have researched gentrification, Austin’s street art scene, urban farming, and student teaching and learning. More recently, I’ve been interested in arts-based methods, social settings that promote creativity, and the story of my Cubanness. My research has been published in journals such as City & Community, Humanity & Society, and Teaching Sociology.

Qualitative Methodologies
Arts-based Methodologies
Critical Methodologies

ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1145-2320

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Romero, R. (2021). Gracious Space: Developing Community, Taking Risks, and Expanding Socio-emotional Awareness in the Classroom. Pedagogies: An International Journal.
  • Romero, R. (2020). Poetic Transcription in the Sociology Classroom: Developing Empathy, Analytical Skills, Creativity, and Engagement. Teaching Sociology, 48(3), 1–9. https://doi.org/DOI: 10.1177/0092055X20923703
  • Harris, D. A., & Romero, R. (2019). Race, Four Farms, and a City: Color Blindness and the Austin, TX Commercial Farm Debate. Humanity and Society, 43(3), 227–249. https://doi.org/10.1177/0160597618814880
  • Romero, R. (2019). Taking Back the Boulevard: Art, Activism, and Gentrification in Los Angeles. Social Forces. https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/soz062
  • Romero, R., & Harris, D. A. (2019). Who Speaks For (and Feeds) the Community?: Competing Definitions of “Community” in the Austin, TX Urban Farm Debate. City & Community, 18(4), 1162–1180. https://doi.org/10.1111/cico.12416

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Regents' Teacher Award. August 2020
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, Texas State University. August 2019
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Liberal Arts Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching, College of Liberal Arts, Texas State University. 2018
  • Award / Honor Recipient: John R. Hood Honors Professor of the Year, Texas State University, Honors College. April 2018
  • Award / Honor Nominee: Presidential Award for Excellence in Service 2023. November 2023 - 2023

Selected Grants

  • Harris, Deborah (Principal), Romero, Rachel (Co-Principal), Harris, Whitney (Co-Principal). Urban Farming and Gentrification in Austin, TX, Research Enhancement Program, Institutional (Higher Ed). (Submitted: December 1, 2014). Grant.
  • Romero, Rachel (Principal). Street Art and Gentrification in the City of Austin, Center for Social Inquiry, Texas State University, Institutional (Higher Ed). (Submitted: June 1, 2013). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

Center for Diversity and Gender Studies Advisory Council
Reviewer / Referee
Journal of Urban Affairs
February 2024-Present
Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarly Creative, Presidential Seminar Award and Denise M. Trauth Endowed Presidential Research Professorship
Rubric Review Committee (RRC)
Faculty Senate Liaison
October 2023-Present