Lorri J.  Santamaría Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Lorri J. Santamaría

Associate Professor of Educational Leadership
The University of Auckland

Haere mai, bienvenidos, and welcome to this virtual space. I hope my research and scholarship from a critical and often feminist perspective on 'minoritized' tertiary initiatives; the impact of social justice and educational equity on preK-HE leadership in diverse societies; roles of Indigenous knowledge in educational spaces; and ways cultural, linguistic, and gender diversity impact leadership for a global and future focused society - complement your interests and studies. W/ x & gratitude,Lx


Over the last 20 years, I have been blessed and fortunate to have held a wide variety of positions in public education ranging from bilingual classroom teacher to special day class teacher to district administrator in Arizona and California. In addition to K-12 public education experience and prior to my appointment as Head of School (LDPP) in 2015, and Associate Dean Postgraduate Programmes (2014), at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) I was Director for the Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership with the University of California, San Diego. There I worked collaboratively to support students who were practicing educational leaders working toward the attainment of terminal degrees.


    PhD, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 2000
    MAEd, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 1997
    BAEd, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 1994

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    As a Spanish born, Spanish speaking  woman scholar of color (Black African American of Irish and American Indian (Choctaw) descent), I often share with students and colleagues that educational research in academe is often 'me-search'. As such, my research includes the study of leadership practices promoting cultural and linguistic diversity and academic achievement in Early Childhood, Primary, Middle School Secondary and Higher Education (preK-HE). My focus is currently evolving to include the integration and balance of mind, body and spirit to benefit systemically underserved learners at every level, following my own recent experience with illness.

    Some current research projects include:
    -Widening Participation for Students who are First in Family to attend University
    -Engaging Cross-cultural and International Research Communities
    -Indigenous and Critical Race Research Methodologies
    -Leadership in Māori, Pasifika and Indigenous contexts in Aotearoa- NZ, the US and similar countries
    -Women of Color in Educational Leadership PreK-HE
    -Multicultural Multilingual Education meeting the needs of systemically underserved (e.g., African American, Latino, American Indian- US) and priority learners (e.g., Māori, Indigenous, Pasifika, immigrant students-NZ)
    -Culturally and linguistically diverse school leaders and leadership toward academic achievement
    -Cultural and Linguistic Diversity of students pursuing doctorates in Educational Leadership

Personal Interests

    Beyond my commitment to global social justice and equity and active scholarly work for the benefit of vulnerable peoples, particularly systemically underserved women and children; I especially privilege and enjoy time spent loitering lovingly with my precious family and friends. I like to treat and balance myself with regular yoga practice including asanas, meditation, and breathing deeply as well as West African dance and playing my djembe.  All things quantum, spiritual, sci-fi, and metaphysical fascinate me to no end. If I were to study again, it would be quantum physics, for sure. Finally, my soundtrack for life is 80's alternative and high energy dance music including Prince, as well as Indigenous and New Age-ish mystical ambient jams.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Culturally Responsive Leadership in Higher Education - 1st Edition book cover


EJEP : eJournal of Education Policy

Partnership for change: Promoting effective leadership practices for Indigenous

Published: Jul 01, 2015 by EJEP : eJournal of Education Policy
Authors: Santamaria A. P., Webber M. J., Santamaria L. J., Dam L. I.
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy

Working with over sixty principals across six regional clusters throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, researchers utilised critical Kaupapa Māori methodology to observe, engage, and support MSI’s vision of A Change in the Hearts and Minds of Principals in mainstream contexts. This paper highlights the research and outcomes resulting from evaluating the personal and professional growth of MSI leaders.