Socorro Cambero | Research Program

Research Program Description

Socorro's research program is in teaching, learning, and educational Improvement. Central to this area is the role that learning environments play in advancing or limiting learning opportunities for diverse learners. Further, this area look at the role of teaching and learning innovations in addressing educational inequities.

Cite as: Cambero, Socorro. 2019. Research Program Description. University of California. November.


Maintenance Staff as Social and Cultural Institutional Brokers

Socorro Cambero is interested in exploring how scholars of color that hail from low-income communities navigate higher education structures. Socorro's PhD research program investigates how service staff including custodial, maintenance, and cafeteria workers—a population not often formally schooled—in higher education institutions broker cultural and social capital to first-generation college students.

UC Workers Union: AFSCME Local 3299

AFSCME Local 3299 is UC’s largest employee worker union that represents more than 24,00 employees at UC’s 10 campuses, 5 medical centers, research laboratories, clinics and UC Hastings College of Law. In present day, workers coordinate campaings and rely on the power of solidarity to in order for politicians to represent workers' aspirations.


This is art by photographer, Dulce Pinzón who takes pictures of Mexican immigrant workers in New York dressed as superheroes to shed light to the sacrifices immigrants make in order to send money back to their families. Similar to my research, Pinzón turns dominant rhetoric of service workers on its head and illuminates how valuable their labor is to communities and their families back home. 

(click on image for Pinzón's personal website)


This is an article published in The Atlantic by Ashley Fetters. Fetters interviews parents, experts on childhood development theories, children and waste-management as to why young people look forward to seeing garbage-collection trucks. Experts in the field claim that the routine of seeing the garbage truck every week at the same time boosts their sense of familiarity while also giving them something to look forward to. However, when garbage truck drivers were consulted, they shared that "making kids happy" is a part of he job and "it makes you feel like a rock star." One kid shared that above all, "she loves waiting for the truck driver to stop and say hi." 


Where I imagine sharing my research beyond conventional scholarly article and monograph:

  • Associated Undergraduate Student Government at Universities
  • Associated Graduate Students Government at Universities
  • Campus administrators
  • Supervisors for service workers (ie. maintanence staff, facility staff, housing)