Julie Cosenza, PhD


Director of Student Experience


As an activist, scholar, and leader, my mission is to make educational systems as accessible and inclusive as possible. My research has fueled my passion for enhancing student experience and community building in higher education. As part of this research, I have staged, and published performances on the intersections of Queer Theory and Critical Disabilities Studies, and these often feature my performance alter ego, Queerdo. My written scholarship and my performative research promote intersectionality, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

I have more than a decade of experience in higher education leadership in various roles such as Faculty, Academic Counselor, and Program Manager. I have also taught courses at Bay Area educational institutions, such as St. Mary’s College, San Francisco State, and Cal State East Bay.

I have BA degrees in Multicultural and Gender Studies as well as Theatre Arts from California State University, Chico; I have a MA degree in Women and Gender Studies from San Francisco State University; and my PhD from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, is in Communication Studies. My areas of research and scholarship include Queer Theory, Critical Disabilities Studies, Crip Theory, Qualitative Methodologies, Performance Studies, and Critical Communication Pedagogy. Lastly, I am East Bay native and am overjoyed and extremely grateful to have my family nearby. In my spare time, I enjoy hanging with my niece and nephews, gardening, and playing strategic board games.