Director of the Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC)
Heidi Lasley Barajas is the Associate Dean for Engagement, Diversity and Undergraduate Programs an associate professor (and founding chair) of the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning (PsTL) in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). She received her B.A. in Spanish and education, and a masters degree in sociology from the University of Utah. She received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Minnesota as a National Science Foundation Fellow.
Dr. Barajas also serves as the Executive Director of the Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), a place based University center located in North Minneapolis. She has served as a core member of the University Northside Partnership and was a member of the Action Planning Team that shaped UROC strategic planning. She has served as co-chair of the oversight body for Hennepin County's AGRAD initiative to boost graduation rates and reduce achievement disparities, and is a board member of Hope Community, a neighborhood revitalization initiative in South Central Minneapolis. Currently, she co-chairs one of the Northside Achievement Zone action teams.
A sociologist by training, Dr. Barajas joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 2000. Her research, teaching and public service focus on issues related to access and equity, with a focus on building educational institutions that support students across differences of race, gender and class. She is a team leader for the Office of Public Engagement and an affiliate with the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development.
Higbee, J. L., & Barajas, H. L. (2007). Building effective places for multicultural learning. About Campus, 12(3), 16-22.
Barajas, H.L., & Ronnkvist, A. (2007). Racialize space: Framing Latino and Latina experience in public schools. Teachers College Record, vol 9, n 6: 1517-1538.
Barajas, H. L., and Pierce, J. L. (2005) “The significance of race and gender in school success among Latinas and Latinos in college.” Gender & Society, vol 15, n 6, pp. 859-878, reprinted in Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret Anderson (Eds.) Race and Ethnicity in Society: The Changing Landscape. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
Barajas, H., Axtell, S. (November, 2011). “Broadband Access: Engaging Diverse Communities.” Blandin Foundation and Connect Minnesota Policy and Progress: Border to Border Broadband Conference. Duluth, MN. (invited)
*Matson, J., Barajas, H. (October 5, 2011). “Characterizing Neighborhood Change with Data: The Role of University Centers.” Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) Webinar
Barajas, H., Smalkoski, K. (August, 2010). “Choice Matters: Urban Hmong and the suburban school.” The Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), Atlanta, GA. (invited)
*Barajas, H., Smalkoski, K., Yang, Y., Yang L., Yang, P. (June, 2010). “Engaging Research Design: Reflections and ethics in working with newly arrived immigrants.” The Ethnics and Politics of Research with Immigrant Populations Conference, Minneapolis, MN.
*Barajas, H., Burton, L. (March 2010). “A Comparative Look at Diverse Students in Service-Learning.” Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), Chicago, Illinois.
*Barajas, H., Burton, L., Ronnkvist, A. (November, 2008). “From Disequilibrium to Literacy:
Diverse Students and Service-Learning.” Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Jacksonville, Florida.