Colette Cann

Colette N. Cann


Associate Dean
Full-Time Faculty


Dr. Colette N. Cann is an associate dean and professor in the School of Education. Before coming to USF, she served for over ten years at Vassar College as an associate professor of Africana Studies and Education, as a class advisor, as a house fellow in a residence hall, and as the director of a community college transfer program. In addition, Dr. Cann worked with Vassar students to establish the RISE Center for Racial Justice.

Dr. Cann’s scholarship has allowed her to collaborate with teachers, students, and community organizations and has appeared in journals such as Race, Ethnicity and Education; Whiteness and Education; Urban Education; Journal of Peace Education; Qualitative Inquiry, and Cultural Studies <–> Critical Methodologies. Dr. Cann's most recent publication is The Activist Academic: Engaged Scholarship for Resistance, Hope and Social Change.


  • Critical Race Theory
  • Race and Education
  • Intergroup Dialogue

Research Areas

  • Race and K12
  • Whiteness and Education
  • Race in Higher Education


  • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Faculty Advancement
  • Co-Chair, Doctoral Policy Committee, School of Education
  • Member, Progressive Policing Community Advisory Board (PPCAB)


  • UC Berkeley, PhD, 2006
  • UC Berkeley, MA, 1999
  • Stanford University, BA, 1993

Prior Experience

  • Assistant/Associate Professor in Africana Studies and Education, Vassar College
  • Director, Exploring College, Vassar College
  • Class Advisor, Vassar College
  • Chair, Education Department, Vassar College

Awards & Distinctions

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Award — Office of Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach
  • SPE Outstanding Book Award Honorable Mention, The Activist Academic, 2021 

Selected Publications

  • Forthcoming: Rise for Radical Justice
  • Cann, C. and DeMeulenaere, E. (in press). The activist academic: Engaged scholarship for resistance, hope and social change. Myers Education Press.
  • Cann, C. and McCloskey, E. (2017). The poverty pimpin’ project: How Whiteness profits from Black and Brown bodies in community service programs. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 20(1), 72-86
  • Colette N. Cann (2016) A reboot of Derrick Bell’s ‘The Space Traders’: using racial hypos to teach white pre-service teachers about race and racism, Whiteness and Education, 1(2), 94-108, DOI.
  • Cann, C. (2015). At the intersection of heart and mind: A critical race feminist parenting her 'best thing'. In G. Theoharis & S. Dotger (Eds.) On the high wire: Education professors walk between work and parenting. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Cann, C. (2015). What school movies and TFA teach us about who should teach urban youth: Dominant narratives as public pedagogy. Urban Education, 50(3), 288-315.