Undergraduate Catalog
Graduate Catalog
Courses A–Z
Course Schedule
Academic Calendar
Study Abroad
Academic Research
Grants & Special Programs
Summer Session
January Term

Grants and Special Programs

Research Justice at the Intersections

Patrick Camangian

Associate Professor of Education, University of San Francisco

From Coping to Hoping: Teaching Youth to Thrive through Trauma

Children living in our country's most violent urban neighborhoods show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder at rates nearly two times more than troops returning from war zones in Iraq (Tucker, 2007). While we must always recognize the talent, brilliance, and vigor of young people persisting through everyday life in urban communities, studies have shown that many youth in urban spaces experience trauma (Cook et al., 2005)—that result of social toxins including poverty, racism, violence, environmental toxins, gentrification, xenophobia, language discrimination, substandard public services, and more (Garbarino, 1995). While critical scholars have introduced transformative pedagogies proven to facilitate cultural affirmation, critical consciousness, and subsequent improvements in academic engagement among urban youth, as a field we have yet to acknowledge and address the healing needs of students that would allow them to fully thrive.

For this project, I will be turning to research in the health sciences—spanning the fields of public health, epidemiology, social work, and psychology—to inform a new paradigm for thinking about pedagogy, complex traumas, and urban education. The new, robust framework will provide a richer basis for understanding previously underexplored questions about how pedagogy can not only be critical and culturally relevant but how it might also help better account for the additional developmental demands youth in urban settings must negotiate.


Patrick Camangian is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of San Francisco and Co-Director of the Urban Education and Social Justice Credential & Master’s program. In 2011, he was awarded the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Camangian earned his PhD in Urban Schooling at UCLA. His scholarship examines critical pedagogy and transformative teaching in urban schools; action research, critical literacy, culturally empowering education, and urban teacher development. Camangian’s recently published article, “Teach Like Lives Depend On it: Agitate, Arouse, Inspire” (2015) is based on his 2011 AERA, Division B Dissertation of the Year Award winning dissertation. Currently, he is turning to both critical theory and research in the health sciences to inform his research findings on complex traumas and urban education. Camangian has been an English teacher since 1999, continuing in the tradition of teacher-research, applying critical pedagogies in urban schools. As a professor, he continues to teach English in the Oakland Unified School District as part of the East Oakland Step to College program. Camangian engages grassroots efforts to advocate for humanizing, socially transformative education as a founding member of California's People’s Education Movement and as an advisory board member of the Education for Liberation national network.

Research Justice at the Intersections


RJI Scholars Program

2015-16 Scholars

Last Updated: 9/5/17