Celina Su was born in São Paulo and lives in New York. She is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York and the author of Streetwise for Book Smarts: Grassroots Organizing and Education Reform in the Bronx (Cornell University Press) and Our Schools Suck: Students Talk Back to a Segregated Nation on the Failures of Urban Education (NYU Press, co-authored). Her work has appeared in both academic and literary journals, including Critical Policy Studies, n+1, Aufgabe, XCP: Cross-Cultural Poetics, and the Annual Review of Sociology.
Her honors include the Berlin Prize, the Whiting Award for Excellence in Teaching, an Academy of American Poets prize, and fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Millay Colony, and Bread Loaf. Since 2001, she has served as co-founder and Executive Director of the Burmese Refugee Project, which uses a participatory model of community development with Shan Burmese refugees in northwestern Thailand. She received her Ph.D. from MIT.