Dr. Raul Fernandez has more than a decade of diverse experience in higher education. He is a lecturer and director of the Higher Education Administration program at the Boston University School of Education. He is a well-recognized leader and accomplished speaker on issues of diversity and inclusion, with hundreds of faculty, staff and students at numerous campuses and conferences having attended his workshops.
Raul’s signature workshop Blind Spots challenges participants to examine their background, beliefs and biases while identifying areas where they can do the work and grow. He’s facilitated versions of Blind Spots for deans, faculty and administrators, doctors and nurses, elementary and high school teachers and tutors, resident assistants, campus activities boards and orientation leaders.
He has also presented at numerous conferences including SXSWedu, the Conference on the First Year Experience and NASPA regional, national and international conferences. He's been a guest facilitator on Teaching in a Diverse Classroom at Boston University’s New Faculty Retreat and facilitated workshops at the New England College Health Association’s (NECHA) Annual Meeting, the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Massachusetts Drive-In Conference and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) Annual Business Meeting.
Raul previously taught courses in Speech and Communication at Miami-Dade College, and taught a section of BU’s First Year Experience course for five years. He also co-developed the curriculum and taught a Boston University course on Identity, Inclusion & Social Action. The course helps students to examine systems of oppression and identify opportunities to work toward social justice. In addition to teaching his own section, Raul developed the module on Race, Ethnicity and National Origin, with a focus on the causes and impact of implicit bias.
Raul’s expertise also includes engaging students in transformative social justice experiences, having led such trips to Haiti, Honduras, Israel and Rwanda. While working at BU’s Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, he also developed a 10-day social justice retreat to Washington, DC where students explored the interplay between those who advocate for and those who legislate social justice issues.
While working at BU’s Student Activities Office, Raul brought diverse speakers, performers and events to campus, including #BULEADS, a leadership summit focused on innovation, collaboration and social action, Let’s Talk About It, a moderated discussion on race, power and privilege, and Mind the Gap, a town hall conversation on masculinity and the gender divide.
In 12 years at BU, Raul has chaired or served on numerous committees including the Campus Activities Team, Alcohol Task Force, Scarlet Key Selection, Multicultural Weekend, Student Affairs Management Conference, Social Media Communicators and the University Retention & Engagement Committee.
Raul has been active in NASPA for several years, including a stint as the regional Latinx Knowledge Community Representative. He also served as a panelist for NASPA's Careers in Student Affairs Month webinar and as a panelist at the Latino/a Knowledge Community’s national pre-conference. He currently serves as a representative to NASPA's Equity, Inclusion & Social Justice Division as well as a Region 1 representative on the Faculty Council.
A first-generation college graduate, Raul holds degrees in Communication and Nonprofit Management from Boston University, Barry University and Northeastern University, as well as a doctorate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Boston University’s School of Education. His dissertation examined the comments of 143 Student Trustees in Board of Trustees meetings at the University of Massachusetts, from 1969-2015. It sought to demystify one way that students can engage in institutional governance and policymaking at the highest level.
He has recently taught Legal Issues in Higher Education, Student Affairs, Current Issues in Higher Education and Diversity & Justice in Education.