Torres-Olave, Blanca

Title/s:  Associate Professor
Program Chair, International Higher Education

Office #:  Lewis Towers 1130, WTC

Phone: 312.915.6464


CV Link: Torres-Olave CV


Blanca Torres-Olave is an assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches in the Higher Education and International Higher Education programs.  Through her research, Blanca tries to elucidate the global implications of domestic issues in U.S. higher education, such as the casualization of academic labor and the growing stratification of employment among STEM graduates. A pressing concern in her work is to bridge some of the topical and theoretical gaps between the international higher education literature and the U.S.-based field of higher education.


  • PhD, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ
  • MA, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada
  • BA, Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico

Program Areas

  • International Higher Education
  • Higher Education
  • Cultural and Educational Policy Studies

Research Interests

  • Precarious and non-standard employment among STEM graduates
  • Academic labor stratification
  • International collaborations and partnerships
  • Intersectionality of international students & scholars
  • Foreign language policy impact on university actors in developing countries

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE)
  • Council for International Higher Education (CIHE-ASHE). Past Chair
  • Consortium for Higher Education Research (CHER)
  • Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE)

Courses Taught

  • ELPS 427 Foundations in Higher Education
  • ELPS 431 Evaluation in Higher Education
  • ELPS 530 Doctoral Proseminar 
  • ELPS 405 Introduction to Policy Analysis


  • Banting Post-doctoral Fellow, Canada, University of British Columbia (declined)
  • International Doctoral Award, Mexican Ministry of Education (Secretaria de Educación Pública—SEP, 2007-2010)
  • International Doctoral Fellowship, Mexican Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT, 2007-2010)

Selected Publications

  • Torres-Olave, B., Brown, A., Franco, L., & Ballinas, C. (2019). Not Waving but Striving: Research Collaboration in the Context of Stratification, Segmentation, and the Quest for Prestige. Journal of Higher Education. doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2019.1631074
  • Torres-Olave, B., & Lee, J. (2019). Shifting positionalities across international locations: Embodied knowledge, time-geography, and the polyvalence of privilege. Higher Education Quarterlydoi.org/10.1111/hequ.12216
  • Torres-Olave, B. (2019). Underestimating the Gender Gap? An Exploratory Two-Step Cluster Analysis of STEM Labor Segmentation and Its Impact on Women. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 25(1), 53-74.
  • Torres-Olave, B. & Torres-Olave, M.E. (2018). Managing the Academic Racehorse: Bioaccountability, Surveillance, and the Crafting of Docile Faculty in Mexican Universities. AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom, 9. www.aaup.org/JAF9/managing-academic-racehorse-bioaccountability-surveillance-and-crafting-docile-faculty
  • Torres-Olave, B., Horta, H., Kollasch, A., Lee, J., & Rhoades, G. (2016). The CINHEKS Comparative Survey: Emerging Design, Findings, and the Art of Mending Fractured Vessels. In J. Välimaa and D. Hoffman (eds.), Change in networks, higher education and knowledge societies -theoretical perspectives and empirical analyses. The Netherlands: Springer.
  • Kollasch, A., Rios-Aguilar, C., Torres-Olave, B., & Rhoades, G. (2016). Networks as vehicles for collaborations: Exploring collaboration network dynamics of institutional and individual academic ties with external actors. In J. Välimaa and D. Hoffman (eds.), Change in networks, higher education and knowledge societies-theoretical perspectives and empirical analyses. The Netherlands: Springer.
  • Rhoades, G. & Torres-Olave, B. (2015). Academic capitalism and academic labor markets: Negotiating a new academy and research agenda. In M. Paulsen, Higher education: A Handbook of Theory and Research (Vol. 30), pp. 383-430.
  • Diaz-Barriga, A. & Torres-Olave, B. (2014). Organismos internacionales en la educación superior latinoamericana. Proyectos y contradicciones de la posguerra y la era posterior al Consenso de Washington. En R. Malee Bassett & A. Maldonado-Maldonado (Coord.), Organismos Internacionales y Políticas en Educación Superior ¿Pensando Globalmente, Actuando Localmente? (Traducción P. Contreras, pp. 299-322). México: Asociación Nacional de Universidades e Instituciones de Educación Superior. 
  • Lee, J., Torres-Olave, B., Kollasch, A., & Rhoades, G.  (2014). Conceptions and enactments of university service in the new knowledge economy: Case studies from STEM faculty in the US. In  J. C. Shin and U. Teichler, The future of the post-massified university at the crossroads: restructuring systems and functions (pp. 119-144). The Netherlands: Springer.
  • Torres-Olave, B. (2012). Imaginative geographies: identity, difference, and English as the language of instruction in a Mexican university program. Higher Education, 63(3), pp. 317-335.
  • Torres-Olave, B. (2011). “There is a world out there:” Spatial imagination, agency and academic culture in a Mexican university program. Comparative Education Review, 55(1), pp. 30-55.
  • Diaz-Barriga, A. & Torres-Olave, B. (2009). International organizations in Latin American higher education: Projects and contradictions in the post-WWII and Post-Washington Consensus era. In Malee Bassett, R. and Maldonado-Maldonado, A. (eds. pp. 212-228), International organizations and higher education policy: thinking globally, acting locally? United Kingdom: Routledge.