Cecilia E. Suarez, Ph.D.

Department of Agricultural Education and Communication

2020 Graduate Education Diversity Champion Award


Dr. Cecilia E. Suarez was born in San Antonio, Texas and raised by two strong women, her mother and grandmother. A proud first-generation college student, she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami, a master’s degree from Miami University of Ohio, and a Ph.D. from The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Education Policy Studies with a graduate minor in Latino/Latina Studies.

Her research focuses on access and equity of education through culturally relevant teaching and leadership development practices, as well as counternarratives of first-generation students of color in higher education. In the Fall of 2016, Dr. Suarez joined the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at The University of Florida as Assistant Professor of Leadership and Intercultural Communication and Global Leadership. She also serves as a faculty affiliate for the Center for Latin American Studies, the Education Policy Research Center, Faculty-in-Residence for Hispanic Latino Affairs, Café Latino executive board, and is the inaugural faculty president of the Latinx Staff and Faculty Association at The University of Florida. She focuses her courses on identity development, culture, ethics, social justice, and access and equity, as it relates to leadership development, and has also given a TED talk on self-worth and internal validation.