Oliva Espín

Oliva M. Espín, PhD

Oliva M. Espín is Professor Emerita in the Department of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University and the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University.

A native of Cuba, she received her BA in Psychology from the University of Costa Rica and her PhD from the University of Florida, specializing in counseling and therapy with women from different cultures and in Latin American Studies. She has done post-doctoral work at Harvard University with a fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health.

This is my mother walking alone down the aisle
This is my mother walking alone down the aisle....she did not want to be "given away."

Among many professional awards, in 1991 she received the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Professional Contribution to Public Service; in 2001 she received the Distinguished Career Award from the Association for Women in Psychology, and in 2008 the Christine Ladd-Franklin Award from this Association for her many contributions to Feminist Psychology.

Throughout her career she has done research, teaching and consultation and published many articles and books. Dr. Espín held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Gender Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria in 2010.


Cover of Women, Sainthood, and Power

Women, Sainthood, and Power

Available on November 15

"Espín offers readers of Women, Sainthood and Power a window into a group of female saints who have impacted her personal development and spirituality. Their lives are stories of faith, spirituality, and a belief in the power of being a woman. Espín poignantly presents their path to a powerful relationship with the divine.

—Mary Ann Gawelek
Lourdes University

"Women, Sainthood, and Power is at once a deeply personal book and a scholarly analysis of a selection of female, Catholic saints from the fourteenth to the twentieth century, ranging from Catherine of Siena and Joan of Arc to Mariana of Quito, Tekakwitha, and Edith Stein. Oliva M. Espín weaves a fascinating tapestry of these women’s stories of faith, resistance, and even defiance. Across six centuries, Espín highlights figures relevant for consideration today.

—Darleen Pryds
Franciscan School of Theology