Oakes Faculty Fellows

The Oakes College faculty represents a wealth of expertise from the natural sciences to the humanities, and we are proud to have some of the top scholars in the world among our faculty. Our students major in nearly every discipline at UCSC—from economics and computer science, to theater arts and Latin American and Latino studies—and they are well supported by the depth and breadth of the Oakes College faculty and the extensive knowledge of our advising team.

TBA is Oakes's faculty chair!

The Chair of the Faculty is an Academic Senate member, other than the Provost, who is elected by the college Faculty to serve a two year term, and will serve as a member of the Executive Committee.


Rebecca Covarrubias
  • Pronouns she, her, her, hers, herself
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Psychology Department
  • Affiliations Latin American & Latino Studies, Research Center for the Americas, Education Department, Community Studies Program
  • Phone
    831-502-8136 (Office), 831-459-4985 (Lab)
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Social Sciences 2, Room 349
  • Office Hours (Spring 2022) Please email me to schedule a time to chat!
  • Mail Stop Psychology Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz California 95064
  • Courses PSYC 140F: Mind, Society, and Culture; PSYC 159R: Achievement Disparities: A Social Psychological Perspective; PSYC 213: Student Achievement and the Culture Cycle

Research Interests

As a social and cultural psychologist, my research focuses on issues of identity, culture, health, and educational quality/access for underrepresented and diverse individuals. More specifically, I examine how dominant cultural values, practices, and representations within school and health contexts differentially shape the daily experiences and self-understanding (e.g., performance, belonging, well-being, self-concept) of majority and minority group members. Using multi-methods including laboratory and field experiments, longitudinal designs, surveys, focus groups, and content analyses, my work generally finds that 1) a mismatch in the cultural values between the context and the individual undermines self-understanding, and that 2) interventions that subtly reframe the context to match the individual’s cultural background can improve self-understanding. 

Biography, Education and Training

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2015, University Diversity Initiative, University of Delaware

Ph.D., 2012, Social Psychology, The University of Arizona

M.A., 2009, Social Psychology, The University of Arizona

B.S., 2007, Family Studies and Human Development, The University of Arizona