Elena Cruz-Lopez is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology with a graduate minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Ohio State. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and she began playing violin at age 12 in San Juan’s Escuela Libre de Música. She moved to South Bend, IN in 2008, where she kept playing violin in her school’s orchestras. While in high school, she was part of the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra. She graduated in 2017 from Valparaiso University where received a Bachelor of Arts in Music in violin performance. There, she was a student of both Yuan-Qing Yu from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Dr. Katharina Uhde.
Elena’s current dissertation research focuses on the music of Motown’s girl group The Supremes, fan reception, and how this music shaped fans’ lives. Some of her other research interests include popular music in the 20th and 21st centuries, women in popular music, and girlhood in popular culture.
Besides doing research, Elena loves to teach students about music history, including popular music and classical music. She has volunteered for Grrrls Rock Columbus and worked as a band coach and keyboard instructor. She believes every student has the ability to express their love for music, whether that is by performing, writing about music, or using other creative outlooks. When Elena is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her dog (and friends) and consuming all kinds of pop culture.