Dr. Lydia CdeBaca-Cruz is committed to closing persistent equity gaps in higher education through decolonial curricular reform and engaging faculty development. She currently serves as program coordinator for the Mexican American Studies program at Austin Community College, where she also teaches courses in humanities, Mexican American studies, and composition and literary studies and facilitates a teaching and learning excellence division faculty development course in becoming an equity-minded instructor. In addition, she serves as a lecturer in the English department at the University of Texas at Austin, teaching courses in contemporary Latinx literature and culture, American literature, and Mexican American literature.
Prior to joining ACC, Dr. CdeBaca-Cruz served as operations manager and consultant at Catch the Next, Inc., a college readiness and completion organization, building on her experience at Houston Community College, where she served as Associate Chair of English, program coordinator for humanities/interdisciplinary cultural studies, HCC Puente project director, and director of the Mexican American/Latino Studies program. Dr. CdeBaca-Cruz’s leadership experience in DEI initiatives grounds her equity-based faculty and institutional coaching for Achieving the Dream.
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin | Department of English
Graduate Certificates, Mexican American Studies, Native American/Indigenous Studies
B.A., University of Texas at Arlington | English
Operations Manager | Catch the Next, Inc.
Houston Community College | Associate Chair, English; Program Coordinator, Humanities/Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies; Director of Mexican American/Latino Studies
How has education changed your life/your family?
With my access to education, my family has transformed from one of regret and shame to one of confidence and empowerment. My mother’s “If I could have gone to college…” has become my sons’ “When I’m at UT…” My mother’s financial struggles and dependence on others’ wealth or state services to support my siblings and me has become my economic independence. My mother’s shame that our culture prevented her from accessing and belonging in higher education settings has become my validation of the strengths of our culture that have allowed me to succeed.