Sociology Graduate Students

Uriel Serrano
  • Title
    • PhD Candidate
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Sociology Department
  • Affiliations Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Rachel Carson College Academic Building, N/A
  • Mail Stop Rachel Carson College Faculty Services

Biography, Education and Training


Born and raised in the Crenshaw/Baldwin Hills neighborhood, I graduated from Susan Miller Dorsey High School and earned a BA and MA from California State University, Los Angeles. Before enrolling at UC Santa Cruz, I worked in after-school programs as a visually impaired and blind youth counselor, and the First-Year Experience Program at Cal State LA.

My research explores questions around race and gender, children and youth, social movements and resistance, and neighborhood institutions in the context of carceral violence. I ground my work in theories of intersectionality, critical youth studies, and critical carceral studies to examine political mobilization by Black and Latinx youth, gender ideologies, carceral logics, and youth-well-being in an inner-city context. I am particularly interested in how carceral systems and logics function, persist and are challenged and how experiences differ across social contexts and social locations. You can learn more about my current projects at


I am an American Sociological Association Minority Fellow, a 2021-2021 Ford Dissertation Fellow, CSU Chancellor’s Fellow, and AAHHE Graduate Fellow. Recognition for my scholarship includes funding and awards from the Social Science Research Council, Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Project MALES at the University of Texas at Austin, the Research Center for the Americas at UC Santa Cruz, and the UC Santa Cruz Blum Center. My work has been published in Race Ethnicity and Education, Association of Mexican American Educators Journal, and forthcoming with Sage Publications, Sociological Perspectives, and Educational Researcher.



I have presented my research at the American Sociological Association, American Educational Research Association, Pacific Sociological Association, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the American Public Health Association, NYU, University of Maryland, Santa Clara University, Chapman University, Hartnell College, Monterey Peninsula College, and Prairie View A&M University. I regularly teach a Sociology of Education graduate seminar and have served as Teaching Assistant at UCLA and UC Santa Cruz.

Pronouns: he/him/his/èl