Erica Yamamura, PhD

PhD, Education (Higher Education and Organizational Change), University of California, Los Angeles
MA, Education (Higher Education and Organizational Change), University of California, Los Angeles
BA, Political Science and Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Associate Professor, Student Development Administration (SDAD)

Phone: (206) 296-2105

Building/Room: Loyola 408

Research and Teaching Interests

Dr. Yamamura’s research, teaching, and service reflects her commitment to engaged scholarship as a means to examine, critically assess, and advance educational equity. Her research agenda centers on the nexus of diversity and equity in P-20 education, with a specific emphasis on college and graduate preparation, student development processes, and retention for historically underrepresented communities (African American, Latina/o, Native American, Southeast Asian, 1st generation, low socioeconomic status, urban, and immigrant students). Within these areas, and in collaboration with university and community partners, she examines opportunity structures, programs, and student, faculty, administrative, and community members’ experiences to illuminate promising practices to advance equity and diversity.

At Seattle University, she is actively engaged in community-based learning and research which she uses as a pedagogical tool to (a) enhance student learning and (b) provide meaningful community service. To date, she has partnered with a number of on-campus partners (Division of Student Development, Center for Service and Community Engagement, and the Learning Assistance Programs) , open-access institutions in the region (Bellevue College, Cascadia College, South Seattle Community College, and North Seattle Community College), and K-12 (Seattle Public Schools, Middle College High School).


Erica K. Yamamura is an associate professor and the graduate research project coordinator in the Student Development Administration program. In addition, during the 2013-14 academic year she serves as a concentration co-coordinator for the Adult, Postsecondary, and Higher Education Concentration in the Educational Leadership doctoral program. Prior to her position at Seattle University, she served as an assistant professor in the Educational Leadership program at Texas State University. Immediately following her graduate studies, she served as a postdoctoral Scholar-in Residence at Carleton College.

Professional Background

She has spent over a decade cultivating bi-directional community partnerships to advance educational equity and diversity in P-20 educational settings (Mentor Programs, Non-Profit, and University/Community Partnerships) and in student affairs (Residential Life, Outreach/College Readiness, and Educational Internships). In addition, Dr. Yamamura has extensive research experience utilizing quantitative, qualitative, and participatory methodologies, including working with university and non-profit partners on assessment and program evaluation. As a doctoral student, she was a Spencer Foundation Research Training Grant Fellow, and also served as a Research Assistant at the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute.

Dr. Yamamura is a proud product of California’s public education system, having attended K-12 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and postsecondary education in the University of California system.Born and raised in Los Angeles, Dr. Yamamura has an affinity for exploring ethnic cuisines. She currently enjoys exploring the wealth of Southeast Asian restaurants in the greater Seattle area and welcomes suggestions for tasty local taquerias.

Selected Publications

Guerra, P., Nelson, S., Jacobs, J., & Yamamura, E. (2013). Developing educational leaders of social justice: Programmatic elements that work or need improvement. Education Research and Perspectives Journal, 40, 124-149.

Jacobs, J., Yamamura, E.K., Guerra, P., & Nelson, S. (2013). Emerging leaders for social justice: Negotiating the journey through action research. Journal of School Leadership, 23(1), 91-121.

Larrotta, C., & Yamamura, E.K. (2011). Meaningful parent engagement in schools: A case study of Latina/o parent empowerment. Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, 5(2), 74-83.

Yamamura, E.K., Martinez, M., & Saenz, V.B. (2010). Moving beyond high school expectations: Examining stakeholders’ responsibility for increasing Latina/o students’ college readiness. The High School Journal, 93(3), 126-148.