Ursula S. Aldana is an Assistant Professor in the Catholic Educational Leadership (CEL) Program at the University of San Francisco. Her research focuses on K-12 teaching and leadership with regard to issues of equity and access for racially/ethnically and linguistically diverse students. She has conducted a range of studies focusing on language policy and practice; innovations in Catholic schools (elementary and high school); and the sociocultural competencies of teachers and students. Motivated by her values of social justice, Ursula aims to improve policy and practice in education by investigating reforms that create equitable educational opportunities for historically underserved students. Dr. Aldana’s teaching experience in public urban schools juxtaposed by her personal experience in Catholic schools (from elementary to graduate) has motivated her to also research the intersection of the Latina/o experience in Catholic education.
Prior to her move to USF, Dr. Aldana served as a research associate on multiple research projects that examined academic programs, innovations, leadership and school culture of Catholic schools at the Center for Catholic Education at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). In addition to her work at LMU, she worked for the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA on multiple research projects related to bilingual education and immigrant youth at the secondary level.