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Rachel Cruz, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Mexican American Studies, Dept. of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, & Sexuality Studies 


 A specialist in Mexican American music, her research is based on the history and development of Mexican American music­­––decolonial methods and praxis in music education. She has presented extensively on the effects of assets-based teaching through culturally-based ensembles upon higher education success. Cruz was added to an impressive list of award-winning authors at the 2020 International Latino Book Awards for The Art of Mariachi: A Curriculum Guide (Conocimeiento Press, 2017) written as a reference for music educators working to establish aligned, the learner-centered mariachi curriculum in public schools and universities. Albeit Cruz holds a doctorate in musical arts in the western European tradition, she prides herself most continuing the tradition of her ancestors as a compositora y cantante de la musica Mexicana that she learned through the oral tradition and has sung throughout her life in south-central Texas. Cruz resides in San Antonio, Texas with her wife, four fur babies, and her espresso machine––the loves of her life. 

Mentoring Interests  

  • Career Development 

  • Being LGBTQ+ in the workplace 

  • Coming out in an unsupportive environment 

  • Gender non-conformity  

  • Gender diversity / fluidity / exploration  

  • Being LGBTQ+ and religious  

  • Asexuality / Aromanticism 

  • Being LGBTQ+ within the Latinx community 

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