Gretchen Lopez is Director of the Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) Program, a tenured faculty member in Cultural Foundations of Education and affiliated faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies. Professor Lopez applies a multidisciplinary, multi-method approach to studying inequality and the impact of social justice education across contexts. Her main research focuses on race and critical pedagogy in higher education and she has extended this work to engage high school students, studying the significance of engaged scholarship. This research centers how critical pedagogy may facilitate student understanding of structural racism and how this further connects to preparation and motivation to act. This work has been published in the Journal of Social Issues; Race, Ethnicity, and Education; New Directions for Higher Education; and Political Psychology as examples.
Professor Lopez co-edited a special themed issue of Equity & Excellence in Education on “Intergroup Dialogue: Engaging Difference, Social Identities, and Social Justice,” subsequently published as a book (by Routledge, 2015). 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. As part of this project, she initiated the development of an interdisciplinary Intergroup Dialogue Program funded through the Chancellor’s Initiative Fund in collaboration with Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. Recently, her projects have received support recently through the American Association for Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) Bringing Theory to Practice Project including to engage graduate students in public scholarship inquiry, and to consider the broader implications of dialogic learning for student’s overall well-being.
Interdisciplinary inquiry focused on critical issues of race, gender, class, and education.
Professor Lopez's work has been recognized through an Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award, the Racial Justice Award from Interfaith Work’s Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism, and the Syracuse NAACP Youth Council Image Award for Education. Additionally, the Intergroup Dialogue Program has been recognized by the LGBT Resource Center (outstanding campus organization), and Professor Lopez has been a collaborative member of two different teams receiving Syracuse University’s Exemplary Achievement Award (CARE, MLLC).
Dr. Lopez’s regularly offered graduate courses include EDU 781 – Institutions and Processes in Education, a required course for doctoral students across departments in the School of Education, and CFE 640 – Inequality and Intergroup Relations in Education, a foundational course for graduate students who later facilitate undergraduate IGD courses. Intergroup Dialogue academic courses are cross-listed in Sociology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Communications & Rhetorical Studies as well as Cultural Foundations of Education (CFE 230).