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Dr. Rebecca Hernandez

Dr. Rebecca Hernandez
(pronouns: she/her/hers)

Rebecca, Mescalero/Warm Springs Apache and Mexican American, believes that when we commit to truth-telling, we are all liberated. She earned her PhD in American studies, specializing in the scholarship of the convoluted and biased practices of collecting, archiving, and exhibiting American Indian history and art in museums and archives. Her experiences as a first-generation college student inspired her to support others during their journey in higher education.


For seven years, Rebecca served as director of the American Indian Resource Center at UC-Santa Cruz. Under her leadership, the center thrived and, together with the student interns, hosted over 100 events that centered American Indian voices. She became a trusted collaborator and community educator, building long-term relationships both on and off campus. Rebecca frequently speaks about how she was transformed by her work with students and is ever grateful for their willingness to share a part of their lives with her. 

She is now the community archivist at the UC-Santa Cruz University Library, where she partners with local stakeholders to promote the acquisition, preservation, and use of archival materials that document the diverse communities of Santa Cruz County. She joined the team in Special Collections & Archives in January 2022. Rebecca looks forward to the ways the Community Archives Program will build connections with the community and reflect the varied lived experiences here.

Rebecca also serves as a consultant for nonprofits and museums, offers workshops and presentations on Native Americans in the United States, and assists educators at all levels with curriculum and training development. She is driven by the desire to create equitable, creative spaces for people to learn and share ideas, stories and histories—spaces where the truth is honored. Rebecca lives in the city of Santa Cruz and likes to read mysteries and visit museums in her free time.

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