Rachel Endo

Dean and Professor
Office hours
By appointment
Campus Box

Rachel Endo became Founding Dean of the School of Education at the University of Washington Tacoma in summer 2017.

Prior to joining the University of Washington Tacoma, she was Inaugural Chair of the Teacher Education Department in the School of Education at Hamline University, where she led the university's largest department through a time of significant growth and transformation. Prior to her time at Hamline University, she was Faculty Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Teaching Program at the College of St. Mary (the largest program on campus), where she also was a Core Faculty Member in the Creative Arts and Communication Program and Teacher Education Department. Before becoming a faculty member, she held various administrative and teaching positions in Illinois and Nebraska.

A first-generation college student, Endo started her postsecondary pursuits at Metropolitan Community College. She then transferred to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she was part of the Project Achieve TRIO program, and then went on to obtain an M.P.A. in Public Management, an M.A. in Education, and a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Technology. Her Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education with a cognate in Comparative Ethnic Studies is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was a University of Illinois Pre-Doctoral Fellow, and received multiple awards for academic excellence and research innovation.

As a learner who directly experienced various opportunity gaps in both K-12 and higher education, Endo is deeply committed to widely promoting equity literacy among educators, leaders, and policymakers. In particular, she is involved in a range of initiatives and projects that aim to eradicate access and equity gaps that disproportionately impact persons from historically underrepresented and underserved backgrounds in the U.S.

Honors and Awards

Endo has been widely recognized internationally for her commitment to equity and excellence in education. Recent awards include:

2019- Excellence in Mentorship Award, Division G Social Contexts of Education, American Educational Research Association.

2018- Arthur R. King, Jr. Award for Curriculum Innovation and Promoting Equity in Education, Pacific Consortium Circle.

2018- Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

2017- Carl A. Grant Excellence in Research Award, National Association for Multicultural Education.

2017- Inaugural Don T. Nakanishi Excellence in Mentorship Award, American Educational Research Association’s Research on the Education of Asian and Pacific Americans Special Interest Group SIG 94.

Moreover, she has been recognized for teaching excellence and innovation. For example, she was named by the National General Board of Higher Education as Hamline University’s 2015 Exemplary Teacher of the Year, which recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates "civility and concern for students and colleagues; commitment to value-centered education; and service to students, the institution, and the community." She was also recognized as Outstanding Faculty of the Year (by students) at the College of St. Mary in 2010 for her investment in causes that promote gender and racial equity in PK-16 education.

In prior years, Endo has received dozens of other awards and recognitions for her service to underrepresented communities, families, and youth, as well as for excellence in mentoring and supporting educators, learners, and scholars who are indigenous and of color.

Scholarly Interests

A nationally recognized scholar of Asian/American education, bilingual education, critical/decolonizing approaches to multicultural education, immigrant/refugee education, and urban teacher education, Endo is the author of multiple publications that have appeared in high-impact journals in education such as Bilingual Research Journal, Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, Education & Urban Society, Equity & Excellence in Education, Journal of Language, Identity & Education, The Urban Review, Urban Education, among others.

She currently serves on the editorial boards of Bilingual Research Journal and Children's Literature in Education: An International Quarterly.

Her most recent book is titled The Incarceration of Japanese Americans in the 1940s: Literature for the High School Classroom (2018, Urbana, IL- The National Council of Teachers of English). NCTE's Literacy section also recently published a supplement to her book where she offers classroom-connected strategies for secondary educators to discuss the U.S.'s current "border crisis" with their students in a post titled "Criminalizing Racialized Bodies: Then and Now."


Over her career in academia, Endo has taught 27 different graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of communication studies, ethnic studies, and a variety of foundations and specialty courses for P-12 educators including classroom management, educational psychology, educational technology, literacy methods, and multicultural education. Endo also enjoys working with students as they develop their identities, interests, and skills as academic scholars. She has supervised dozens of graduate students on their doctoral dissertations and master's capstones/theses at UW Tacoma, Hamline University, and the College of St. Mary. She also has directed undergraduate research projects for students majoring in communication studies, education, and psychology.