Gretchen Lopez

Gretchen Lopez
Associate Professor; Director, Intergroup Dialogue
Phone: 315.443.8344
Address: 352 Huntington Hall
Academic Program Area Focus: Cultural Foundations of Education

Gretchen Lopez is Associate Professor in Cultural Foundations of Education in the School of Education, faculty director of the interdisciplinary Intergroup Dialogue Program, and affiliated faculty in Women's and Gender Studies. 

Professor Lopez’s research studies race and critical pedagogy in higher education, including applying a multi-method approach to studying inequality and the experience and impact of social justice education across educational contexts. Her/their published work includes co-editing the book, “Intergroup Dialogue: Engaging Difference, Social Identities, and Social Justice” (2014, Routledge), and she led the university’s participation in the Multi-University Intergroup Dialogue Research Project, a nine-institution study capturing educational processes and outcomes of learning through intergroup dialogue, for undergraduate students. 

Current research projects include: (1) studying the knowledge, skills, and awareness college students develop through Intergroup Dialogue academic courses that are applied to future work and efforts that center collaboration and coalition building; (2) exploring the practice and effectiveness of digital pedagogy to expand Intergroup Dialogue academic offerings, facilitation, and student access; and (3) capturing the significance of Intergroup Dialogue, including facilitation and training/mentoring experiences, for graduate students and their pathways in faculty positions or as engaged scholars.

Professor Lopez is on the Coordinating Team for the Engaged BIPOC Scholar-Practitioner Program, and a current member of the University Senate Committee on Race, Ethnicity, Equity, and Inclusion. 


Ph.D., University of Michigan, social psychology
B.A., Cornell University, psychology



  • Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award, Syracuse University
  • Syracuse University's Exemplary Achievement Award as a member of two different collaborative teams (CARE, Conversations about Race and Ethnicity, MLLC, Multicultural Living Learning Community)
  • Intergroup Dialogue Program recognized as Outstanding Campus Organization by the Syracuse University LGBT Resource Center
  • Racial Justice Award, Interfaith Works Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism, Syracuse NY
  • Syracuse NAACP Youth Council Image Award for Education, Syracuse NY

Courses Taught

Gretchen Lopez teaches EDU 781, “Institutions & Processes in Education,” with a central focus on addressing systemic racism in education; a required course for Ph.D. students in the School of Education, across multiple programs and fields of study. Professor Lopez also teaches graduate courses, through Cultural Foundations of Education, on Inequality and Intergroup Relations in Education (CFE 640) and Ethnic Studies in Education (CFE 600). 

She further prepares, supervises, and mentors graduate students (in MS, PhD programs) to co-facilitate Intergroup Dialogue and social justice education for school/community, co-curricular, as well as campus-based initiatives (e.g., CFE, CRS, SOC, WGS 230).