About Me

My research focuses on the intersections of race, culture, trauma, and learning across K-16 learning contexts. My approach to research is founded on the belief that the pursuit of robust justice in education requires both centering the voices and experiences of nondominant students and examining, to redress, the practical realities and context-specific demands of the complex systems students navigate. As such, my work integrates conceptual and pragmatic tools from asset-based frameworks (i.e., Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, Funds of Knowledge, Community Cultural Wealth) with the study of how complex systems produce “wicked” problems of practice and influence the implementation of practice-based interventions.

My approach to research was, in many ways, born from my experience as an educational practitioner and my own lived experience. As a mathematics teacher and instructional coach for 12+ years across K-16 contexts, I developed a deep understanding of how content, pedagogical, and racial/cultural know-how interact with systemic factors in ways that can either empower or hinder student learning. My lived experiences supporting family members and students in the navigation of multiple systems related to schooling, foster care, mental health, incarceration, and healthcare have also inspired my research. I have learned that addressing complex problems of schooling requires finding, or designing, opportunities to learn and collaborate across sectors, disciplines, and systems.

Selected Publications

Rios-Aguilar, C., Neri, R.C. (Eds.) (in press). Funds of Knowledge, Community Cultural Wealth, and the Forms of Capital: Strengths, Tensions, and Ethical and Practical Considerations. Urban Education.

Neri, R.C., Rios-Aguilar, C., Zipin, L., & Huerta, A. (in press). Surfacing Deep Challenges for Social-Educational Justice: Putting Three Key Frameworks into Dialogue. In Rios-Aguilar, C. & Neri, R.C. (Eds.), Funds of Knowledge, Community Cultural Wealth, and the Forms of Capital: Strengths, Tensions, and Ethical and Practical Considerations. Urban Education.

Neri, R.C. (2020). Difficult Funds of Knowledge as Pedagogical Resources for Critical Consciousness Development. Information and Learning Sciences, 121(9/10), 749-767.

Neri, R.C., Lozano, M., & Gomez, L. M. (2019). (Re)framing Resistance to Culturally Relevant Education as a Multilevel Learning Problem. Review of Research in Education, 43(1), 197-226.

Rose, S., Neri, R.C., Rios-Aguilar, C. (2019). (Re)Contextualizing Guided Pathways to Provide Equitable Supports. Journal of Applied Research in the Community Colleges, 26(2), 63-74.

Neri, R. C. (2018). Learning From Students’ Career Ideologies and Aspirations. In J.M. Kiyama and C. Rios-Aguilar (Eds.) Funds of Knowledge in Higher Education: Honoring Students’ Cultural Experiences and Resources as Strengths. New York, NY: Routledge.


  • 2021 Trustees Teaching Award, IU, School of Education
  • 2021 Award for Outstanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Achievements, IU, School of Education
  • 2021 Emerging Scholar Award, IU, Latino Faculty and Staff Council


  • National Science Foundation #2044354, (2021), “Transforming STEM Career Pathways: Examining a Multigenerational Mentorship Environment to Support Persistence of Women of Color Pursuing STEM Education at Community Colleges”, $300,000


  • Funds of Knowledge
  • Race, Culture, Trauma, Learning
  • Equity-Centered Research Design
  • Academic Writing Seminar
  • (Re)contextualizing Concepts and Methods in Learning Sciences

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