Kristen Surla

Kristen Surla is an artist-scholar committed to creating transformative leadership and curriculum in higher education. Currently, she is a PhD student in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education Program. She is a first-generation college student, identifies as Filipino American, and queer woman of color. Her research interests include critical approaches to graduate socialization and academic capitalism in higher education. As a complement to her academic work, Kristen created an arts-based research website and archive called “Spirit Work” to examine doctoral socialization, identity, and immigrant histories for Filipina American women in academia.

Kristen created three powerful arts-based explorations: “We hired a consulting firm to…”: Higher Education’s Response Racial Justice about BIPOC labor and institutional DEI responses; Student in a Pandem[ic]onium, a visual response to COVID-19 student support survey questions; and Addressing Anti-Asian Racism and Misogyny in the Classroom, an example lesson using storytelling and arts-based exploration to support students’ responses to intersectional oppression including Anti-Asian racism and misogyny.