Professor selected as UT Research Development Academy scholar

College of Law Professor Sherley Cruz has been selected as a 2021-2022 University of Tennessee Research Development Academy scholar.

The university’s offices of Equity and Diversity and Research and Engagement offer the Research Development Academy program to faculty who self-identify as underrepresented by virtue of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or other factors.

Cruz, a Dominican-American whose scholarship examines intersections of law, culture and access to justice in the context of low-wage worker rights, is one of 13 members of this year’s co-hort.

Throughout the year-long program, Cruz will specifically explore why the consideration of cultural and ethnic norms matters when creating anti-sexual harassment workplace policies and procedures for low-wage immigrant women.

“I am thrilled to be selected and look forward to gaining skills and experience that will foster my development as a scholar,” Cruz said. “Having an inter-disciplinary scholarship support network will broaden the scope of my work and provide me with new perspectives to explore my research interests.”

Cruz joined the University of Tennessee’s College of Law Legal Clinic faculty in 2019. 

She is a past practitioner-in-residence with American University’s Washington College of Law’s Civil Advocacy Clinic and former director of litigation and education at Suffolk University Law School’s housing discrimination testing program.  

Before beginning her academic career, Cruz worked for the Massachusetts Office of Attorney General’s Wage and Hour Division and practiced employment law as a staff attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services.