About the Episode

Former #CompactNationPod host J.R. returns for a conversation with the winner of the Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement, Cristina Santamaría Graff. Listen in as they discuss her work involving families as key participants in teacher education programs, informing the curriculum and impacting the way future teachers engage with families in the classroom to better serve children's needs. Plus, we talk social distance birthday parties and the hidden benefits of bad city planning.

Listen to the episode

Show Notes


Cristina Santamaría Graff is an assistant professor of urban teacher education and the recipient of the Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement. She has expertise in bilingual/multilingual special education and applies her skills in working with Latinx immigrant families of children with dis/abilities in community-engaged, family-centered projects. Her scholarship focuses on ways community-engaged partnerships can transform inequitable practices impacting youth with disabilities at the intersections of race, class, and other identity markers of difference. Her efforts are currently focused on “Family as Faculty” (FAF) approaches in special education programs that position community stakeholders’ knowledge and knowledge-making as central to the process of transforming systems. This work has contributed to deeper, reciprocal collaborations not only in her department and university, but also among families, practitioners, administrators, and policymakers statewide.

Santamaría Graff is one of the editors of the journal, Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners, and an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and many of her own publications have been co-authored with parents, students, or community stakeholders. In addition to receiving several campus teaching awards and IUPUI’s 2018 Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Community Scholar Award, her work has been recognized with Indiana Campus Compact’s 2019 Brian Douglas Hiltunen Award for Community-Engaged Research and the American Education Research Association’s 2019 Research Award for Practice-Engaged Research.

Your Hosts

Andrew Seligsohn


Marisol Morales

Vice President, Network Leadership

Emily J. Shields

Executive Director, Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact