Dr. Edlyn Peña is the Chair, Director, and Associate Professor of the Education Leadership doctoral program at Cal Lutheran. She is an award-winning researcher who studies ways to support autistic students in the preschool through higher education pipeline. Her edited books, “Communication Alternatives in Autism” (2019) and "Leaders Around Me" (2019), feature prominent autistic individuals who advocate for communication and inclusion rights. As a scholar and Director of the Autism and Communication Center, Dr. Peña’s service to the autism community has reached international audiences.
- Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Southern California
- M.Ed. in Postsecondary Education and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California
- B.A. in Psychology with Highest honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz
- College students with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities
- Inclusion and communication needs of P-20 students with autism
- Equitable educational outcomes for college students
*Publications and presentations noted with an asterisk are co-authored with doctoral students
· Peña, E.V. (Ed.) (2019). Communication alternatives in autism: Perspectives on typing and spelling approaches for the nonspeaking. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishing.
· Peña, E.V. (Ed.) (2019). Leaders around me: Autobiographies of autistics who type, point, and spell to communicate. Thousand Oaks, CA: Kindle Direct Publishing.
· *Nachman, B., Miller, R., & Peña, E.V. (2020). “Whose liability is it anyway?”: Cultivating an inclusive college climate for autistic LGBTQ students. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership. https://doi.org/10.1177/1555458919897942
· *Capozzi, S., Barmache, D., Cladis, E., Peña, E.V., & Kocur, J. (2019). The significance of involving nonspeaking autistic peer mentors in educational programs. Autism in Adulthood, 1(3), 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1089/aut.2019.0006
· *Peña, E.V., Stapleton, L., Brown, K., Broido, E., & Stygles, K. (2018). A universal research design for student affairs scholars and practitioners. College Student Affairs Journal, 36(2), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1353/csj.2018.0012
· *Austin, K., Peña, E.V., & Brennan, E. (2017). Promising instructional practices for college students with autism. Currents in Teaching and Learning, 9(2), 29-37.
· Peña, E.V. & Kocur, J. (2017). How social identities affect students with autism for transition to college. Developments, 15(3), 1-9.
· Brown, K., Peña, E.V., & Rankin, S. (2017). Unwanted sexual contact: Students with autism and other disabilities at greater risk. Journal of College Student Development, 58(4), 771-776. https://doi.org/10.1353/csd.2017.0059
· *Austin, K. & Peña, E.V. (2017). Exceptional faculty members who responsively teach students with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 30(1), 17-32.
· *Carpenter, A. & Peña, E.V. (2017). Self-authorship among first-generation undergraduate students: A qualitative study of experiences and catalysts. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 10(1), 86-100. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0040026
· *Peña, E.V., Stapleton, L. D., & Schaffer, L.M. (2016). Diverse and critical perspectives on disability identity. New Directions in Student Affairs, 154, 85-96. https://doi.org/10.1002/ss.20177
· Brennan, E. & Peña, E.V. (2016). Autism, inclusion, and communication in higher education. Developments, 3, 1-11.
· *Tangalakis, C. & Peña, E.V. (2016). Academic identity development of undocumented college students. Journal of Student Affairs, 25, 53-56.
· Peña, E.V. (2014). Marginalization of published scholarship on students with disabilities in journals of higher education. Journal of College Student Development, 55(1), 30-40. https://doi.org/10.1353/csd.2014.0006
· *Sandlin, J.K. & Peña, E.V. (2014). Building authenticity in social media tools to recruit postsecondary students. Innovative Higher Education, 39(4), 333-346. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-014-9280-9
· Peña, E.V. & Kocur, J. (2013). Parenting experiences in supporting the transition of students with autism spectrum disorders into community college. Journal of Applied Research in Community Colleges, 20(2), 5-12.
· *Hoffman, J. & Peña, E.V. (2013). Too Korean to be White and too White to be Korean: Ethnic identity development among transracial Korean American adoptees. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 50(2), 152-170.
· *Carrasco Nungaray, M. & Peña, E.V. (2012). Faculty institutional agents at community colleges. Journal of Applied Research in Community Colleges, 20(1), 44-51.
· Peña, E.V. (2012). Faculty development aimed at redressing inequitable educational outcomes: Using inquiry methods for critical consciousness and self-change. Review of Higher Education, 36 (1), 69-92. doi:10.1353/rhe.2012.0049
· Jimenez y West, I., Gokalp, G., Peña, E.V., Fischer, L. & Gupton, J. (2011). Exploring effective support practices for doctoral students’ degree completion. College Student Journal, 45 (2), 310-323.
· Peña, E.V., Colyar, J. & Bensimon, E. M. (2006). Contextual problem-defining: Learning to think and act from the standpoint of equity. Liberal Education, 92 (2), 48-55.
· Bensimon, E. M., Polkinghorne, D. E., Bauman, G., & Vallejo, E. (2004). Doing research that makes a difference. Journal of Higher Education, 75(1), 104-132.
Book Chapters and Monographs
· Brown, K., Peña, E.V., Broido, E.M., Stapleton, L.D., & Evans, N.J. (2019). Understanding disability frameworks in higher education research. In J. Huisman and M. Tight (Eds.). Theory and Method in Higher Education Research. (Vol 5, pp. 19-36). Bingley, UK: Emerald.
· Peña, E.V. (2019). From confession to declaration. Autism and Communication Alternatives: Perspectives on Typing and Spelling to Communicate. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishing.
· Peña, E.V. (2019). Research-based recommendations for educators and therapists. Autism and Communication Alternatives: Perspectives on Typing and Spelling to Communicate. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishing.
· Peña, E.V. (2019). Developing intentionality: How postsecondary institutions can nurture Latina faculty members’ to achieve tenure and promotion. In Patricia Perez (Ed.) The Tenure Track Process for Chicana and Latina Faculty: Experiences of Resisting and Persisting in the Academy. New York, NY: Routledge Publishing.
· Vaccaro, A., Kimball, E., Cox, B., Lee, M., Zilvinskis, J., Wessel, R., Wells, R., Webb, T., Stapleton, L.D., Peña, E.V., Newman, L., Miller, R., Marine, S., Madaus, J., Kraus, A., Kim,E., Crawford, L., Brown, K., Broido, E., Banerjee, M., Abes, E. & Locklin, B. (2018, October). A research agenda for quantitative, qualitative, and theoretical higher education disability scholarship. A report submitted to the Spencer Foundation.
· Vaccaro, A., Lee, M. Kimball, E., Cox, B., Abes, E., Banerjee, M. Broido, E., Brown, K. Crawford, L., Kim, E., Kraus, A., Madaus, J., Marine, S., Miller, R., Newman, L., Peña, E.V., Stapleton, L.D. Webb, T., Wells, R., Wessel, R., Zilvinskis, J. & Locklin, B. 2018, October). Making disability visible in higher education research: Documenting qualitative, quantitative and theoretical issues and solutions. A report submitted to the Spencer Foundation.
· *Spence, M. & Peña, E.V. (2015). Intersections of autism, race, and class: A social justice agenda for inclusive leadership practices. In K. Esposito & A. Normore (Eds.) Inclusive Practices for Special Populations in Urban Settings: The Moral Imperative for Social Justice Leadership. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
· Peña, E.V. & Polkinghorne, D.E. (2012). Evaluating the Equity Scorecard project: The participants' points of view. In E.M. Bensimon & L. E. Malcom (Eds.) Confronting Equity Issues on Campus: Implementing the Equity Scorecard in Theory and in Practice. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
· Peña, E.V., Harris, F. & Bensimon, E. M. (2012). The Equity Scorecard: Chronicling the change process. In E.M. Bensimon & L. E. Malcom (Eds.) Confronting Equity Issues on Campus: Implementing the Equity Scorecard in Theory and in Practice. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
· Palucki-Blake, L., Peña, E.V. et. al. (2012). Faculty learning and reflection from student interviews. In E.M. Bensimon & L. E. Malcom (Eds.) Confronting Equity Issues on Campus: Implementing the Equity Scorecard in Theory and in Practice. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
· Peña, E.V. (2016). Review: Allies for Inclusion: Disability and Equity in Higher Education. Review of Higher Education, 39(2), 310-312.
· Peña, E.V. (2012). Review: Disability and Campus Dynamics: New Directions for Higher Education. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 25(2), 203-205.
· Vallejo, E. (2004). Review: Colegio Cesar Chavez, 1973-1983:A Chicano struggle for self-determination. Aztlan, 29(1), 311-313.
Other Publications & Creative Works
· Peña, E.V. (2017). Afterword in D. Peña, Anatomy of Autism (pp. 15-18). Camarillo, CA: Create Space.
· Peña, E.V. (2015). A Pitch for Inclusion. A guest blog on www.idoinautismland.com
· Peña, E.V. (2014). Challenging and changing perspectives. A guest blog on www.idoinautismland.com
· Peña, E.V. (2011). Finding Diego. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUoBM-l2nRA
· Peña, E. V. & Mondschein, H. (2011). Sage Research Methods Online (SRMO): Sample classroom assignments. Retrieved from http://srmo.sagepub.com/page/facultyresources