Maria Malagon, assistant professor of sociology, was the first in her family to go to college and graduate. Born to Mexican immigrants, her parents valued education and supported her goals.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UC Irvine and a master’s degree in social sciences and comparative education at UCLA. But working for city government didn’t fulfill her passions related to immigration and education. “I didn’t feel like I was transforming a problem, but just representing the status quo,” she said. “I felt it was important to continue on the academic path and to ask more critical questions.”
After earning her doctorate in social sciences and comparative education from UCLA, Malagon worked five years as an adjunct instructor in Chicana/o studies at CSUF. She was named the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ 2013-14 Outstanding Temporary Faculty Member before being hired in the fall as a tenure-track faculty member.
Her current research includes critical race theory and Latina/o critical theory, racialized masculinities in education, remedial and alternative education and urban youth identity and resistance. She’s working on a book about the experiences of Mexican American girls in a California reformatory school during the 1940s, and she was a panelist at the March 11 Young Women’s Leadership Conference in Fontana.
Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine recently featured Malagon as one of 12 Emerging Scholars.