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College of Education

Katherine C. Rodela, Ph.D.

Katherine Rodela, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership

Vancouver Campus, VUB 317
14204 NE Salmon Creek Avenue
Vancouver, WA  98686
Phone: 360-546-9676
Curriculum Vitae
Welcome to Katherine Rodela’s faculty page

I’m a faculty member in the Educational Leadership Program. I teach courses related to equity, social justice, and inclusion of diverse communities, families, and students in K-12 schools, in WSU’s Administrative Credential, Masters, and Doctoral Programs.

I engage in research related to leadership for equity and diversity in and around schools, specifically the leadership of parents, community members, and school administrators. I have diverse publications related to the leadership of Latinx immigrant parents, equity school leadership, and STEM access and retention in community colleges.

I am a graduate of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education. I received a BA in Philosophy and History at Seattle University. I am a former Fulbright Scholar and worked on research project studying the civic engagement and leadership impacts of a childhood nutrition program in Peru. Before earning my Ph.D., I taught Spanish and Service Learning at an urban high school in Oregon.

Currently, I am working on these two research projects:

Latinx Parent Leadership: Building on my dissertation work with Latina immigrant mothers and in partnership with Diana Avalos-Leos, Director of the Clark County Latino Youth Conference, we established the SW Washington Latino Parent Leadership Institute. We work with a diverse group of  school and parent leaders to offer parent education and leadership workshops to Spanish-speaking parents in the SW Washington and Portland Metro Area. I’m studying how a grassroots community based program is established and the impacts of this program on Latinx parent engagement and leadership for equity in schools.

For more information about the current project and our workshop sessions, please visit our Facebook Page at:

Equity School and District Leadership in Divided Times: This study examines how educational leaders make sense of their work to advance educational equity and inclusivity amid politically and socially challenging times. Educational leadership is defined broadly to include individuals (e.g. teachers, community leaders) outside more traditional or formal leadership positions (e.g. principals or superintendents) in order to understand the multiple ways equity-oriented leadership is enacted and conceived across educational contexts. Over the past year and a half, educators have noted fears among students, particularly students of color, immigrants, Muslims, and LGBTQ students because of political rhetoric. This study analyzes the experiences of diverse educational leaders amid politically-divided times in the U.S. and region.

Links to newer published papers

Bertrand, M., & Rodela, K. (2018). A framework for re-thinking educational leadership in the margins: implications for social justice leadership preparation. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 13(1), 10-37. [Special Issue: “Rethinking Educational Leadership in the Margins: Youth, Parent, and Community Leadership for Equity and Social Justice”].

Rodela, K., & Bertrand, M. (2018). Special Issue Introduction: Rethinking Educational Leadership in the Margins: Youth, Parent, and Community Leadership for Equity and Social Justice. Journal of Research in Leadership Education, 13(1), 3-9.

Kruse, S., Rodela, K., Huggins, K. (2018). Messy Messages and Making Sense Across Complex Contexts: A Regional Network of Superintendents Confronting Equity. Journal of School Leadership, 28(1), 82-109.

Vossoughi, S. & Rodela, K. (2018). Rewriting class, culture, colonialism, and the “culture of poverty”: Ethnographic work by Eleanor Leacock, 1959-1980. [Special Issue: “Beyond the Culture of Poverty”]. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1080/15595692.2017.1421534

Rodela, K., & Tobin, J. (2017). On Anna’s Terms: Supporting a Student’s Gender Transition in Elementary School. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership20(4), 42-57.

Rodela, K. (2016). Undocumented Educational Leadership: The Development of Latina Mothers into Emergent Social Justice Leaders [Special Issue: “Latina/os and a Spirit of Dedication and Commitment Towards the Community]. National FORUM of Applied Educational Research Journal, 29(1&2), 21-33.

Gomez, K., Gomez, L., Rodela, K., Horton, E., Cunningham, J., Ambrocio, R. (2015). Embedding Language Support in Developmental Mathematics Lessons: Exploring the Value of Design as Professional Development for Community College Mathematics Instructors. Journal of Teacher Education, 55(5), 450-465.

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Washington State University