Thank you for attending the 46th annual TACHE Conference!

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SCHEDULE & EVENTS

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

WEDNESDAY, May 19 - 12:00PM (CST)

Deborah Santiago

CEO, Excelencia in Education

Deborah A. Santiago is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Excelencia in Education. For more than 20 years, she has led efforts from the community to national and federal levels to improve educational opportunities and success for all students. She co-founded Excelencia in Education to inform policy and practice, compel action, and collaborate with those ready to increase student success. Deborah has been cited in numerous publications for her work, including The Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, AP, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Deborah serves on the Board of Visitors for the University of Mary Washington, and the advisory board of thedream.us.

THURSDAY, May 20 - 12:00PM (CST)

Dr. Michael Chavez

Executive Director of Strategic Analytics, University of Texas - Permian Basin

The demographics of students in higher education continue to evolve. Join the 2021 TACHE Conference to learn from Dr. Michael F. Chavez about how colleges and universities can make data-informed decisions to support their students and to continue to grow our college graduation rates.

Dr. Chavez, Executive Director of Strategic Analytics @UTPB has dedicated his career to closing the access and achievement gaps in higher education and he does this by following trends and decoding important data. He will be joined by Texas' renowned demographer Dr. Lloyd B. Potter to combine demographic changes in Texas with student success.

Dr. Michael F. Chavez is a first-generation student and a community college alumnus; he has dedicated his entire career to closing the access and achievement gaps in higher education. He possesses over 25 years of experience higher education experience in every capacity (Instruction, Student Services, Administration, Marketing, Technology, Strategic Analytics). His leadership exemplifies compassion, collaboration, honesty, and the use of data science to guide decisions. His analytic innovation and creativity strategies increase enrollment, retention, and transfer rates by double digits in his previous positions. Dr. Chavez continues to education via state and national conference presentations at various higher educational conferences about implementing and combination of data science, digital marketing, and behavior economics to improve student success.

His recent data science campaigns targeted 1,000 students with a high GPA, within a 15-mile radius, financial aid approved, enrolled in fall, but not spring (three days before first day of spring semester). A digital ad was created with a current student pointing and expressing ‘what’s your excuse? and hyperlinked to registration. The campaign targeted the segmented identified 1,000 students on social media with an ad budget of $238. Within the first, three days of the campaign, 226 students registered (22.6 percent yield rate) providing a $904,000 financial impact. The total conversion cost per student for this campaign was $1.05. The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations awarded this campaign the 2019 Paragon Award.

Dr. Chavez received his doctorate’s at New Mexico State University in higher education administration. He has a master’s in counseling, a bachelor’s in psychology and an associate’s degree. In December of 2017, he completed a second master’s degree in Business Analytics from Syracuse University. He has held various leadership position in student services and instructional services at colleges such as Arizona Western College, Alamo College, Midland College, and Lone Star College. He has recently joined the University of Texas Permian Basin team to develop a newly created Office of Strategic Analytics. Prior to coming to University of Texas Permian Basin as the Executive Director of Strategic Analytics, he was the Vice President of Student Success at Lone Star College—Montgomery in the Greater Houston area.


Dr. Lloyd Potter

State Demographer, Texas Demographic Center

Dr. Lloyd B. Potter was appointed State Demographer on June 4, 2010. Dr. Potter holds a Ph.D. in Demography and Sociology from The University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Public Health Degree from Emory University, a Master of Science in Education from the University of Houston at Clear Lake and a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University. He is a professor in the Department of Demography at The University of Texas at San Antonio where he also serves as the director of the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research (IDSER). He has extensive experience working as an applied demographer in several settings. His current research focuses on public policy and health related demographic topics and training applied demographers.​

THURSDAY, May 20 - 4:00PM (CST)

Dr. Claudia Mercado
Interim VP for Equity and Inclusion, Harper College

Dr. Claudia Mercado has over 20 years of successful experience working in higher education working in areas such as academic affairs and student affairs. She has extensive experience working in multicultural affairs, admissions, recruitment, Greek Life, leadership programs, student organization advising, assessment, enrollment, completion, retention, first-year experience, and scholarships. Not only has Dr. Mercado successfully developed offices, departments ,and created new initiatives, but she has remained successful in achieving critical goals such as increasing student engagement and achieving enrollment and completion goals. She has managed a budget as large as $4 million and provided oversight of more than 800 employees.
She has experience working in diverse environments such as working at a flagship research institution, a Hispanic Serving Institution and a community college system. Dr. Mercado has devoted much of her professional career to improving services for underrepresented students such as ethnic minorities, undocumented students and GLBTQ students. She has conducted research on student engagement predictors on student success for Hispanic students and also teaches both undergraduate and graduate students in the Chicago area. Dr. Mercado has served on multiple boards such as Dignity Chicago, Sigma Alpha Chi- Latina Sorority, Big Brothers Big Sisters and recently Su Casa- Migrant Workers of Chicago. Dr. Mercado is currently serving at Harper College, a community college in a NW suburb of Chicago. Roles have includes Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management and currently Interim Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Dr. Mercado also is an Aspen Presidential Fellow, class of 2020.

FRIDAY, May 21 - 12:00PM (CST)

Dr. Felipe Hinojosa
Director of Hispanic Education & Opportunity Endowment, Texas A&M

Born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, Felipe Hinojosa is Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University. He received his B.A. in English from Fresno Pacific University (1999), an M.A. in History from UT Pan American (2004), and his Ph.D. in History from the University of Houston in 2009. His research interests include Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, American Religion, and Social Movements. In addition to serving as the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the History Department and as Director of the Carlos H. Cantu Hispanic Education & Opportunity Endowment, Prof. Hinojosa is editor for the interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, and online moderated forum Latinx Talk. His work has appeared in Zócalo Public Square, Western Historical Quarterly, American Catholic Studies, Mennonite Quarterly Review, and in edited collections on Latinx Studies. Dr. Hinojosa’s first book, Latino Mennonites: Civil Rights, Faith, and Evangelical Culture (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014) was awarded the 2015 Américo Paredes Book Award for the best book in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies by the Center for Mexican American Studies at South Texas College. His recent work entitled, Apostles of Change: Latino Radical Politics, Church Occupations, and the Fight to Save the Barrio was published January of 2021 from UT Press.

Senator César J. Blanco

Senator César J. Blanco proudly represents the people of Culberson, El
Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties in the Texas Senate.

César was raised in El Paso and after high school, he continued his family’s tradition of military service in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso and continued his public service by working for three Members of Congress representing El Paso and West Texas.

César was first elected in 2014 to the Texas House of Representatives. During his three terms he delivered for El Paso by leading initiatives to strengthen our workforce, economy, and border communities, improving the quality of life and increasing economic opportunities. He led efforts to protect education benefits and expand mental health resources for veterans, rein in rising prescription drug prices, and increase oversight over border security. For his record, Texas Monthly named him one of the best legislators in Texas.

In 2020, César was elected to the Texas Senate. He currently serves on the Senate Committees on Health & Human Services, Higher Education, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs, and Border Security. Senator Blanco's priorities this session include helping working families, small businesses, and the economy bounce back stronger than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sen. Blanco is active in the community as a member of the American Legion, El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Rio Grande Council of Governments and the Medical Center of Americas.

César lives in El Paso with his wife Lili and their dog Jefe.

Presenter directory

DAY 1 – Wednesday, May 19, 2021

"What Makes a House a Home? Establishing a Sense of Belonging"

Sara Blanco

Located in Fort Worth, Texas, Sara Blanco is an Academic Advisor at the University of Texas at Arlington, specializing with Accelerated Online RN to BSN and RN to MSN Students. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Texas Woman’s University and master’s degree of Education in Student Development and Leadership in Higher Education with an Academic Advising certification at Angelo State University.

Outside of UTA, Sara serves as Vice President of Member Services for the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations, also known as NALFO. Also, a member of Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc. she has served multiple regional positions including Regional Director for the Texas Region.

Khrystyane Lopez

Khrystyane Lopez is a doctoral student in the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program at Abilene Christian University, and a graduate of ACU’s Masters in Higher Education program. She currently serves as a regional recruitment specialist based in McAllen, Texas for the University of Houston in the South Texas region, helping guide students through the admissions and financial aid process for the last four years.

Khrystyane is also an active sister of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. and is involved with national leadership as an Alumnae Regional Chair. She is also active as a member of the Programming Committee for the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations.

"What Does It Mean to be an HSI? Voices of Latinx and Non–Latinx Faculty and Administrators of Color"

Dr. Elsa Gonzalez

Dr. Elsa Gonzalez is Assistant Professor of Higher Education (HE) in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the University of Houston. She is the Director of the PhD HE Program. She is Board Member of the Journal of Hispanic in HE.

She is the author of 90 publications, her research interests include issues in higher education such as underrepresented students, access, resilience, retention, and graduation in STEM fields; HSI institutions; and HE leadership.

Dr. Guillermo Ortega

Guillermo Ortega is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Iowa State University and an incoming Assistant Professor at Idaho State University. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Houston.

Guillermo’s research interests include Intercollegiate Athletics, College Athletes, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Latinx Students, Latinx Leadership, Persistence, Qualitative and Quantitative Methods.

Dr. Mauricio Molina

Dr. Mauricio Molina is a higher education professional and researcher that has studied Latinx perceptions on persistence and student loan debt, and investigated government funding of and policy on Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

Currently, he is a research analyst with the Houston Education Research Consortium at Rice University focusing on educational equity issues at schools across the Greater Houston area.

"Voces del Valle: Using Oral History to Understand how COVID-19 has Influenced Latino/a/x Student Experiences in the Rio Grande Valley"

Reyna M. Flores

Reyna Flores is a doctoral student in the Program for Higher Education Leadership and program coordinator with Student Success Initiatives at The University of Texas at Austin. She is a first generation student and daughter of Mexican farm workers who grew up in the Rio Grande Valley.

While in college, Reyna gained interest in dismantling educational inequities impacting minoritized students. Her research interests include students from farm worker backgrounds and Latina/o/x students from the Valley.

Jackie Pedota

Jackie Pedota is a doctoral student in the Program in Higher Education Leadership at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) and currently serves as a Graduate Research Assistant for Dr.Liliana Garces.

Jackie has had a wealth of experience in diverse educational settings from K-12 instruction to non-profit management. She uses an interdisciplinary approach to research where she incorporates participatory methodologies when working with Latino/a/x communities to empower and uplift their voices and experiences.

"Struggles of Latina Dreamer"

Cesar Quezada

Cesar Quezada is a Coordinator for the Multicultural Center at the University of North Texas and a student in the Master of Education Program.

He is a First-Generation college student and DACA Recipient, a Dreamer who graduated from Texas A&M University- Commerce.

He currently serves as the President of UNeTE, the Latinx Staff and Faculty Alliance at UNT. He strives to make an impact in the Latinx and Hispanic Communities.

Josselyne Sibrian

Josselyne Sibrian was born in Chalatenango, El Salvador and came to the United States when she was 2 years old. She was able to get her DACA in 2017.

In 2018 she graduated and started attending the University of North Texas as first-generation student.

She is a founder of the Latinx Hispanic Student Union and now currently serves as President while also working as a student assistant in the Multicultural Center.

"A New Approach Tool for Principals: Balancing Decision-making while abiding by the
Texas Code of Ethics
"

Dr. Ray Barbosa

Dr. Ray Barbosa is an Assistant Professor and Director of Principalship in Educational Leadership for West Texas A&M University.

Previously, Dr. Barbosa served as a teacher, a principal, and an assistant principal for high schools and elementary schools in public school districts within the region.

His experience in education includes teaching high school mathematics, technology applications, coaching basketball, and serving as both principal and assistant principal in K-12 public schools from urban to rural schools.

"Empowering Our Narrative - Hombres Latinos with and Pursuing Doctorates"

Dr. Florencio U. Aranda III

Dr. Florencio U. Aranda III serves as the Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Texas Christian University.

Prior to arriving at Texas Christian University, Dr. Aranda worked as a student affairs professional and diversity advocate as the Multicultural Latino/a/x Retention Advisor in the Office of Multicultural Affairs at South Dakota State University, where he focused on the retention and degree completion of Latinx students.

Robert Ortiz

Robert Ortiz currently serves as the Director of Family Engagement for College & Career at Uplift Education in Dallas/Fort-Worth, TX.

In his role, Robert supports middle and high school families with the college and career planning process. Additionally, Robert is Adjunct Faculty of Speech Communication at Tarrant County College, Dallas College and Texas Wesleyan University.

Lastly, he is a PhD student at Colorado State University studying Higher Education Leadership.

Dr. Guillermo Ortega

Dr. Guillermo Ortega is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Iowa State University and an incoming Assistant Professor at Idaho State University.

He received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Houston. Guillermo’s research interests include Intercollegiate Athletics, College Athletes, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Latinx Students, Latinx Leadership, Persistence, Qualitative and Quantitative Methods."

David Barrera Jr.

David Barrera Jr. is currently the Director of Project SENDA, a federally funded Title V grant, at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. His experience working with diverse populations as an adjunct instructor and director of TRIO programs has empowered him to recognize the student perspective and its impact on student success.

David is a second-year PhD student studying higher education leadership for changing populations at Notre Dame of Maryland University with his research focused on Latino males in the higher education pipeline.

"Siguendo la Lucha in Postsecondary Opportunities for Students with Intellectual Disabilities at an HSI: The TU CASA Program"

Dr. Eric J. López

Dr. Eric J. López is a Professor at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Dr. López has over 20 years of higher education experience & works with underserved communities.

Dr. López received his Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Iowa. He worked as a Bilingual School Psychologist, before joining the faculty at New Mexico State University. Dr. López was an American Council on Education Fellow (2016-2017). His research interests include multicultural assessment, consultation and intervention.

Dr. Mariya Davis

Dr. Mariya Davis is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Texas A&M University–San Antonio. Her research interests include transition to adulthood for students with disabilities, inclusive practices, student empowerment, family engagement, and professional development.

Dr. Davis has established a wide network of collegial relationships in the professional community. She is Past President of the Texas Council for Learning Disabilities and President of the Texas Division on Career Development and Transition.

Dr. Gavin Watts

Dr. Gavin Watts is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the College of Education at Texas A&M University – San Antonio (A&M-SA).

Dr. Watts's current areas of research include training and supervising students with emotional-behavioral disorders as cross-age tutors for promoting skills in academics, behavior, and social-emotional domains.

He is interested in developing no/lowcost behavioral interventions for students with disabilities and evidence based practices for supporting students with disabilities, as well as first-generation college students, in higher education settings.

"Reflecting Upon TRIO Experiences and Contributors to Success"

Stephanie Cuellar

Stephanie Cuellar is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Educational Leadership program at Texas Christian University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Arts in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Midwestern State University.

Her research interests include resilience among minority populations; cultural identity development; the intersectionality of race and religion in the development of anti-racist educational practices; and increasing access to postsecondary education for low-income, first-generation college students.

Dr. Nancy Garcia

Dr. Nancy Garcia is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at West Texas A&M University. She teaches courses in media communication and journalism and is the advisor for The Prairie News, the student news organization on campus.

Dr. Garcia received the TACHE graduate fellowship in 2014.

"You’re the First…”: Considering Faculty Careers for Latinx/a/os"

Dr. Ricardo Montelongo

Ricardo Montelongo, Ph. D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Sam Houston State University. He teaches in the Higher Education Administration, Higher Education Leadership, and Developmental Education Administration programs.

Ricardo’s primary research interests include college student involvement; the impact of Latina/o/x college student organizations; diversity issues in higher education; and spirituality in higher education. He also studies (critical) digital pedagogy and online teaching and learning.

He has twenty years professional administrative experience in student success, academic advising, academic enhancement, Student Support Services/TRiO, institutional research, career development and residence life.

He received his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Indiana University.

Dr. Ray Barbosa

Dr. Ray Barbosa is an Assistant Professor and Director of Principalship in Educational Leadership for West Texas A&M University.

Previously, Dr. Barbosa served as a teacher, a principal, and an assistant principal for high schools and elementary schools in public school districts within the region.

His experience in education includes teaching high school mathematics, technology applications, coaching basketball, and serving as both principal and assistant principal in K-12 public schools from urban to rural schools.

"MAS (Mexican American Studies) for the Masses: Building Community and Ethnic Pride Through
Historia y Arte"

Lisa Mendoza Knecht

Lisa Mendoza Knecht is a community organizer and a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership & Policy Studies department from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

She holds a B.A. in English and History, an M.A. in Education, and nearly 20 years of experience as a secondary teacher in both urban and rural school districts.

She serves as Education Director for MAS for the Masses and lives in San Antonio with her partner and two children.

Moni Avila

Moni Avila is a community organizer and a graduate student at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in Leadership Studies. She holds a B.A. in Mexican American Studies with a minor in Public Administration and a concentration in Non-Profit Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Her artistic and cultural contributions have been rooted in the non-profit sector for over 15 years. Moni is the founder of MAS for the Masses.

"Online Communication: "I was going to say something, but...""

Dr. Laura Cortes Franco

Dr. Laura Cortes Franco has a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and serves as an Adjunct Faculty teaching psychology courses at the Alamo Colleges and UIW.

As a DACA recipient and community college graduate, Dr. Cortes Franco is now the founder of Cortes Consulting, LLC which focuses on research-based solutions and consultations for the workplace needs of both students and professionals.

"Community Building and Development as Foundation for HSI"

Dr. Miguel A. Guajardo

Miguel Guajardo earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 and is Professor of School and Community Leadership at Texas State University.

He has co-authored three books and over 50 articles, chapters and briefings; he also presented or facilitated over 150 workshops or conference presentations. Among his recent books includes Ecologies of Engaged Scholarship (2018) and Reframing School Community Partnerships in Education (2016). In Reframing, Guajardo, M.A., F. Guajardo, M. Militello and C. Janson innovate a process for community building and leadership development called the Community Learning Exchange (CLE).

And in a 2019 publication Miguel and Francisco Guajardo along with C. Salina and L. Cardoza posit that "re-membering, re-framing, and re-imagining" is a worthy process that helps us understand our past and envision an informed future.

Renée Bocanegra

Renée Bocanegra is originally from Brownsville, Texas, a small town in the lower Rio Grande Valley.

She presently lives in Georgetown, Texas, with her family. She is a former ELL, ELA, writing, bilingual, and Spanish teacher and has taught general studies in elementary through specific content areas in high school. Ms. Bocanegra is currently finishing up her third year in her doctoral studies and will soon be moving into the proposal defense stage.

She works as a doctoral research assistant at Texas State University in San Marcos with Dr. Miguel A. Guajardo and enjoys participating in Community Learning Exchanges (CLEs).

Leticia Grimaldo

Leticia Grimaldo is a researcher within the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas at Austin.

Currently, she serves as principal investigator for the English Learner Institute for Teaching and Excellence (Project ELITE), designed to develop, implement and evaluate culturally and linguistically responsive tiered intervention models for English Learners.

She has extensive experience developing and providing professional development in the areas of school leadership, meeting the needs of English learners, and facilitating change in schools

"Digital Divide in Texas"

Luis Reyes

Luis Reyes teaches full-time at San Jacinto College and has taught part-time for other colleges in the Houston area. The primary courses he teaches are U.S. History and Texas History. In addition, Mr. Reyes has served as a mentor and advisor for student organizations at the San Jacinto College.

Mr. Reyes received his BA in History from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and his MA in History from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Dina D. Castillo

Dina D. Castillo teaches full time at San Jacinto College. The primary courses she teaches are Federal and Texas government and Introduction to Politic Science. In addition, she teaches Mexican American studies such as Mexican American Politics / Latino/a Politics and has taught U.S. History I & II and Mexican American History I & II.

Professor Castillo has served as a Harris County Elections Chair over Precinct 696, Harris County Services Election Worker, Campaign Worker for Judge Eric Andell and a Political Consultant for the campaign of a Union Secretary Treasure.

She has served as an advisor and subject matter expert for numerous textbook publishers over the last decade.

Professor Castillo received her BA in Political Science from the University of St. Thomas and his MLA in political science from the University of St. Thomas.

William Parent

William Parent teaches full time at San Jacinto College and part-time for a variety of surrounding colleges in the Houston area. The primary courses he teaches are federal and Texas government. In addition, Mr. Parent has served as an advisor and subject matter expert for numerous textbook publishers over the last decade.

Mr. Parent received his BA in history from the University of Houston-Downtown and his MLA in political science from the University of St. Thomas.

"Creating Counterspaces for Latina Graduate Students: Lessons Learned from our work with
Latinas REACH
"

Laura Zavala-Membreno

Laura Zavala-Membreno is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Houston.

A two-time UH alumna and proud first-generation college graduate, Laura will be pursuing her PhD in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies at UH this Fall with a research focus in Latina persistence and success through the pursuit of an advanced degree.

Laura is native to Houston. She is married and mom to an energetic 8-month-old son.

Hope Pacheco

Hope Pacheco is a proud first-generation college graduate, a licensed social worker and a part-time doctoral student at the University of Houston’s College of Education’s Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies Program.

She is the co-founder of Las Comadres College Mentoring Program and serves as an Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Houston.

Hope was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She is married and has 4 kids.

Dr. Elsa Gonzalez

Dr. Elsa Gonzalez is Assistant Professor of Higher Education (HE) in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the University of Houston. She is the Director of the PhD HE Program. She is Board Member of the Journal of Hispanic in HE.

She is the author of 90 publications, her research interests include issues in higher education such as underrepresented students, access, resilience, retention, and graduation in STEM fields; HSI institutions; and HE leadership.

Anneliese Bustillo

Anneliese Bustillo is the Director of the Women & Gender Resource Center at the University of Houston.

She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership & Policy Studies with a focus on Title IX policies, sexual violence prevention and response, and supporting women of color.

She chose a career in education after attending her first TACHE conference when she was a sophomore in college.

"College Student Knowledge and Awareness of Human Trafficking: La Batalla Contra la Trata de
Personas
"

Mya Rodriguez

Mya Rodriguez is a first-year graduate student in the M.S. Experimental Psychology with a focus in behavioral neuroscience at Angelo State University.

Mya received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Texas A&M International University in Laredo in May of 2020. Her current interests are college student perceptions and knowledge of on human trafficking, amongst others.

After graduation, Mya plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience to focus on becoming a professor and conducting research.

"Breaking News May Break Spirits: How Media Coverage Impacts Minority Students and Their
Academic Success
"

Liandra Larsen

Liandra Larsen is pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Houston.

She is a Research Graduate Assistant for the teachHOUSTON program and an adjunct professor for the University of Florida. Her research interests include studying media representation of marginalized communities and its impact on students.

Prior to beginning at the University of Houston, Liandra was a television news reporter in Savannah, Georgia.

"An Investigation on the Household and Allergenic Fungi of Texas Panhandle"

Lyanna DeLeon

My name is Lyanna DeLeon from Amarillo Texas, and I’ve recently attended West Texas A&M University. I come from a Mexican American family and I am a first-generation college student. I hope to establish a pathway of success that my family and generations after can witness that education is obtainable as long as you are willing to put toward the effort to making it happen.

Therefore, I aspire to become a biomedical researcher, a career that harnesses my long-time fascination of science and my commitment to improve the quality of life for those facing medical challenges. It would be a privilege to work alongside scientists, exploring new treatments and technologies to create exciting new options for patients and their families.

This scientific spark has shaped my life, and with it, I wish to shape the lives of others.

"Mexican Migrants in the 1980s: How Shepherding Offered Sanctuary to Undocumented Mexicans in

the United States"

Gabriel Martinez

My name is Gabriel Martinez. I am a senior at West Texas A&M University and a first-generation college student.

I am a history major with aspirations to go to graduate school. I am also a McNair Scholar. I was born in Colorado but raised in Texas.

My parents were born and raised in Mexico, and emigrated to the United States early in their lives.

DAY 2 – Thursday, May 20, 2021

"Chicana: Identity Transformation, Activism, Burnout, and Mental Health"

Dr. Jessenia Garcia

Dr. Jessenia Garcia is an assistant professor of counseling and development at Texas Woman’s University and a practicing licensed professional counselor.

She is a proud roadrunner as she received her master's and doctoral degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her clinical and research background focuses on first-generation Latinx college students, eating disorders, and body image.

She also serves as the co-chair for the diversity and inclusion committee for the American College Counseling Association.

Dr. Angelica Tello

Angelica Tello is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling Program at the University of Houston – Clear Lake. Her doctoral degree is in Counselor Education and Supervision from the UTSA.

In 2015, Dr. Tello received American Counseling Association’s Courtland C. Lee Multicultural Excellence Award for her commitment to providing counseling services to underserved clients.

Dr. Tello’s counseling and research publications include working with first-generation college students, bilingual counselor supervision, and Latina/o counseling experiences.

"The Power of Unexpected, Informal Mentor Relationships"

Diana Pino

Dr. Diana Pino is the president of Capstone HigherEd Services which provides support to colleges, universities, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. She is also an adjunct lecturer for the University of Houston’s Center for Mexican American Studies.

She has over 20 years of experience in higher education, serving in senior leadership roles as vice chancellor of student services at Houston Community College as well as dean of student services at Lone Star College - CyFair.

Ashlie Resendez

Ashlie Resendez has 22 years of experience in higher education. She currently serves as the Dean of Student Services at Lone Star College-CyFair and is responsible for the administration of advising, admissions/records, assessment and counseling.

She is currently serving as Vice President of Communication and Marketing with Texas Association of Community College Student Affairs Administrators (TACCSAA).

In addition, she is a doctoral student at Grand Canyon University.

"Sense of Belonging Among AfroLatinx Students at Community Colleges"

Stephanie Cuellar

Stephanie Cuellar is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Educational Leadership program at Texas Christian University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Arts in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Midwestern State University.

Her research interests include resilience among minority populations; cultural identity development; the intersectionality of race and religion in the development of anti-racist educational practices; and increasing access to postsecondary education for low-income, first-generation college students.

Dr. Gabriela J. Silvestre

Dr. Gabriela J. Silvestre earned a Ph.D. in Administrative and Policy Studies in Education from the University of Pittsburgh, PA.

Dr. Silvestre is the Higher Education Administration Master’s program Coordinator and a Clinical Assistant professor at Sam Houston State University, TX.

Dr. Silvestre’s research work and interests include diversity issues in higher education, female faculty of color representation and issues at PWIs and HSIs, AfroLatinx students at HSIs, and global and international higher education.

Dr. Magdalena H. de la Teja

Dr. Magdalena H. de la Teja earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from The University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. degree from the UT School of Law. Dr. de la Teja served as the Vice President for Student Development Services at Tarrant County College (TCC), Northeast Campus.

She is a Past President of TACHE and served as faculty for the inaugural 2020 TACHE Career and Leadership Development Institute.

Dr. Florencio U. Aranda III

Dr. Florencio U. Aranda III serves as the Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Texas Christian University.

Prior to arriving at Texas Christian University, Dr. Aranda worked as a student affairs professional and diversity advocate as the Multicultural Latino/a/x Retention Advisor in the Office of Multicultural Affairs at South Dakota State University, where he focused on the retention and degree completion of Latinx students.

"Leadership con Ganas"

Dr. Karla H DeCuir

Dr. Karla Hernandez DeCuir is the Senior Director of Enrollment Management and External Affairs at the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) at Katy. In her role, she oversees the recruiting efforts, external relations, and strategic partnerships.

She graduated from the University of Houston with a Doctor of Education in Professional Leadership where she studied “The New Traditional Student: Recapturing Adult Students to Return and Complete a Bachelor’s degree.”

Dr. DeCuir is passionate about volunteering and helping the community. She serves on several board and leadership positions. Dr. DeCuir is a 2020 TACHE Fellow and she has received several community and leadership awards.

Dr. Jose L. Cantu

Dr. Jose L. Cantu is currently the Vice President for Enrollment Management at University of Houston-Victoria. He has been in higher education for over 27 years working in various capacities leading to the success of enrollment growth at each institution.

He graduated from the University of Houston with a BS in Information Systems Technology (1995) and MS in Training and Development (2005). He received his PhD in Leadership Studies from Our Lady of the Lake University in 2015 with his dissertation topic: “A study of Chief Enrollment Officer’s personality styles and the impact to student enrollment.”

Dr. Cantu has been honored with several leadership awards, served as key-note speaker for events, and has worked with external organizations by facilitating team building and leadership development workshops.

"La senda del éxito: Project SENDA at Del Mar College"

Dr. Kristina Ramirez Wilson

Dr. Kristina Ramirez Wilson is a Rio Grande Valley, TX native who has 15+ years of experience in higher education. She serves as the Associate Vice President of Planning & Institutional Effectiveness at Del Mar College and was previously an administrator at South Texas College.

Kristina strives to develop supportive learning environments in which all individuals seeking a college credential can thrive and succeed.

David Barrera

David Barrera Jr. is currently the Director of Project SENDA, a federally funded Title V grant, at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas.

His experience working with diverse populations as an adjunct instructor and director of TRIO programs has empowered him to recognize the student perspective and its impact on student success.

David is a second-year PhD student studying higher education leadership for changing populations at Notre Dame of Maryland University with his research focused on Latino males in the higher education pipeline

"HSI: Hispanic (Non/Performative) Serving Institutions"

Dr. Jobi Martinez

Jobi Martinez, Ph.D. currently serves as the Executive Director of the Racial Justice Institute (RJI) and Senior Consultant with the National Diversity Council. Dr. Martinez possesses over 20 years of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Her research and consulting focus is on anti racism and racial justice.

"How Cultural Work through Public Pedagogy can be the Oxygen that Breathes Life into a Community"

Yvonne M. De La Rosa

Yvonne M. De La Rosa is a PhD Candidate at Texas State University in the Adult, Professional,
Community Education Doctoral program and the Executive Director of Teatro De Artes De Juan
Seguin.

She is a proud founding member of the Ballet Folklórico De La Rosa (Teator's Flagship program) and Mariachi Juvenil. Through the past thirty-eight years she has been actively engaged in public pedagogy and culturally relevant programming that Teatro provides to the Seguin and surrounding communities. She is a native of Seguin, Texas and has been an educator for 23 years, teaching scholars in 6th-12th grade along with scholars in higher education.

Her research interests include but are not limited to identity formation, community building and development in the Mexican American community.

Dr. Miguel A. Guajardo

Miguel Guajardo earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin
in 2002 and is Professor of School and Community Leadership at Texas State University. He has co-authored three books and over 50 articles, chapters and briefings; he also presented or facilitated over 150 workshops or conference presentations.
Among his recent books includes Ecologies of Engaged Scholarship (2018) and Reframing School Community Partnerships in Education (2016).In Reframing, Guajardo, M.A., F. Guajardo, M. Militello and C. Janson innovate a process for community building and leadership development called the Community Learning Exchange (CLE).
And in a 2019 publication Miguel and Francisco Guajardo along with C. Salina and L. Cardoza posit that "re-membering, re-framing, and re-imagining" is a worthy process that helps us understand our past and envision an informed future.

"Chicanos: Then and Now, and Forging Ahead"

Gloria Velásquez

A Senior Spanish Lecturer at Texas State University where she has taught since 2002. She has taught at Texas Lutheran University, Austin Community College.

She co-organizes diversity oriented event with her colleague, Alba Melgar, and other campus organizations and departments. Co-established the organization GADiA (Gloria and Alba, Diversity in Action) and served/serving as advisor to four student organizations: Love Across Borders, United Students against Sweatshops, Sigma Iota Alpha and Grupo Folclórico Ocotochtli.

She is support faculty member to the DACA and Dreamer Student Organization. Gloria holds four degrees: MPA, MA in Spanish, BA in Political Science and Spanish.

Usha Brandon-Walker

A dedicated and enthusiastic individual for social justice. Credentialed in Child Protective Services, teaching at the early childhood, and elementary levels, experienced with teaching at the college level, case management, and crisis counseling. Experienced with mentoring and coaching.

Experienced in public works government services and research. Educational background includes a diploma in teaching, a bachelor’s in psychology, a masters in sociology, and currently pursuing a doctorate in Adult Professional and Community Education.

Dr. Ziad Shaker

Dr. Shaker obtained his Ph.D. in postmodern culture. Afterwards, he changed his career to adult professional education and training. He is currently the director of total quality management and in charge of safeguarding training quality standards. Dr. Sharker is a certified master instructional designer for instructor-led training and e-learning, a certified curriculum developer for instructor led-training, e-learning, and virtual training, a certified lean six sigma green belt, and a certified manager of quality and organizational excellence. He is pursuing an additional Ph.D. in Adult, Professional, and Community Education at Texas State University.

"#BadHombreScholars: Uplifting Latino Males in Higher Education"

Dr. Ricardo Montelongo

Ricardo Montelongo, Ph. D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Sam Houston State University. He teaches in the Higher Education Administration, Higher Education Leadership, and Developmental Education Administration programs. Ricardo’s primary research interests include college student involvement; the impact of Latina/o/x college student organizations; diversity issues in higher education; and spirituality in higher education. He also studies (critical) digital pedagogy and online teaching and learning.

He has twenty years professional administrative experience in student success, academic advising, academic enhancement, Student Support Services/TRiO, institutional research, career development and residence life. He received his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Indiana University and a M.S. in Student Affairs Administration and B.S. in Psychology both from Texas A&M University. Dr. Montelongo is active in ACPA College Student Educators International and was co-chair of its Latinx Network from 2011-2013.

"Creating MAS solidarities in the movement for Mexican American Studies (MAS) in
K-12 Texas public schools
"

Dr. Gloria Gonzales

Dr. Gloria Vásquez Gonzáles is from Temple, Texas. She earned her Ph.D. in Culture, Literacy, and Language from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research “Las invisibles: Women of the Tejano music industry,” draws from Chicana feminist methodologies to center the voices of Mexican American women and how they negotiated their labor in a male-dominated scene that typically deemed their labor as clerical, rather than specialized.

She is currently a lecturer of Mexican American Studies at UTSA and has been with the MAS Teachers’ Academy since its inception.

Dr. Christopher Carmona

Dr. Christopher Carmona is an Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies and Creative
Writing at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He is a member of the Ad Hoc Committee
for the TX State Board of Education for Mexican American Studies. Currently, he serves as the
Chair of the NACCS Tejas Foco Committee on Implementing MAS in PreK-12 Education in Texas.

He has published three books of poetry, co-edited two anthologies, and co-authored a scholarly
conversation book, called Nuev@s Voces Poeticas: A Conversation about new Chican@ Identities.

Aurelio Montemayor

Aurelio M. Montemayor is a senior education associate at the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA). In 1970 he co-founded of Colegio Jacinto Trevino in the lower Rio Grande Valley and during that time also co-led the Curso de la Raza.

Aurelio believes in the power of community engagement for leadership development and developed IDRA’s Family Leadership in Education model in collaboration with ARISE.

Three years ago, he became part of the MAS Teachers Academy and established an online site for the MAS community of practice.

Dr. Sarah Z. Gould

Sarah Zenaida Gould, Ph.D. is Interim Executive Director of the Mexican American Civil Rights
Institute, a national project to collect and disseminate Mexican American civil rights history. A
longtime museum worker and public historian, she has curated over a dozen exhibits on history, art,
and culture, and was formerly founding director of the Museo del Westside and lead curatorial
researcher at the Institute of Texan Cultures.

Gould is also co-founder and co-chair of Latinos in Heritage Conservation.

Dr. Lilliana P. Saldaña

Lilliana Patricia Saldaña, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies at UTSA
where she also serves as co-director of the MAS Teachers’ Academy. Her research draws from
Chicana/x/o Studies methodologies, decolonial theory, and Chicana feminist thought to examine
teacher identity and consciousness, epistemic struggles in education, and settler colonial schooling
practices.

Over the past seven years, Saldaña has collaborated on statewide organizing efforts to
expand MAS in K-12 schools through NACCS Tejas Foco, the MAS Academy, and MACRI.

"Pandemic Planning: What We’ve Learned Working with First-Year Students at an Emerging
Hispanic-Serving Institution During COVID-19
"

Reyna M. Flores

Reyna Flores is a doctoral student in the Program for Higher Education Leadership and program coordinator with Student Success Initiatives at The University of Texas at Austin. She is a first-generation student and daughter of Mexican farm workers who grew up in the Rio Grande Valley. While in college, Reyna gained interest in dismantling educational inequities impacting minoritized students.

Her research interests include students from farm worker backgrounds and Latina/o/x students from the Valley.

Jay Guevara

Jay Guevara has a worked with The University of Texas at Austin for the past ten years. He has served as an Academic Advisor for various majors for a majority of those years. Currently, Jay directs a Student Success program in the McCombs School for Business, McCombs Success Scholars.

Jay is originally from the Rio Grande Valley and a first-generation college student

"SERVING Latino Adult Students: Evidence-Based Practices Across Texas"

Eyra A. Pérez

Eyra Pérez is the Director of Technical Assistance Director at Excelencia in Education. She advances the Seal of Excelencia institutional transformation strategy by supporting institutions committed to intentionally serving Latino students. Eyra brings more than 25 years of experience in Latino student access and success, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, equity-centered practices, program development and management, student development and leadership, financial aid, transfer, and STEM.

Her professional experience includes higher education, K-12 education, and non-profit community-based organizations.

"Pandemic Planning: What We’ve Learned Working with First-Year Students at an Emerging
Hispanic-Serving Institution During COVID-19
"

Dr. Michelle Cantu-Wilson

Dr. Michelle Cantu-Wilson is the Director of Teaching and Learning Initiatives and Special Projects at San Jacinto College in southeast Houston. In her current role in the Center for Excellence in Teaching
and Learning, she works as the liaison to Frontier Set and the Aspen Institute, Texas Pathways,
Achieving the Dream, and AVID-Higher Education.

Dr. Daniel Villanueva

Daniel Villanueva currently serves as the Assistant Vice-President of Enrollment Management and University Registrar at the University of Houston-Downtown. In his current role, he oversees Admissions, Financial Aid, Minority Male Recruitment, Registrar’s Office, and Transfer and Community College Relations.

"Mi Lucha: Siete Años. Navigating through a Doc Program that wasn't made for Me (Xicana Scholar)"

Dr. Abigail Tarango

Dr. Abigail Tarango works in a cross-functional leadership capacity and strategic role for a large urban school district in the Southwest Borderlands. Throughout her career, Dr. Tarango has been an early childhood, secondary, and post-secondary educator.

As well as faculty at the University of Texas at El Paso’s (UTEP) TRio -Upward Bound program and Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension program. A mother of three and an advocate for education (PreK-12 Public
Education and Postsecondary Education).

"Making Space, Making Place: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging"

Mia Garcia-Hills

Mia Garcia-Hills is a first-generation college student, Chicana feminist scholar, visual artist, yogi and candidate for PhD in higher education leadership who researches and presents on contemporary issues minoritized students, faculty, staff and administrators face from the classroom to the boardroom.

With aspirations to become a college president, Mia seeks to purposefully acknowledge, support and serve a broad range of dreams and concerns to promote critical, meaningful and transformative living, working and learning experiences.

"Diversifying the Field of Research"

Gabriela Mancera

Gabriela Mancera is a first-generation Mexican American graduate student at Texas State University pursing a Masters degree in Social Work. This is her second academic year working as a Graduate Research Assistant within the School of Social Work, focusing on minority communities.

Gabriela looks forward to using her cultural strengths to give back to her Latin*/Hispanic community through direct work, advocacy and research.

Ashley Elizondo

Ashley Elizondo is a Texas State BSW student graduating this May and interested in working with the homeless population and serving her LatinX community.

Elisa Carmona

Elisa Carmona is currently working towards graduating with a social work bachelor’s degree from Texas State University. She is a Hispanic female, who was raised in the suburbs of Austin, Texas. She does not speak Spanish fluently. Her extended family and ancestors have lived in and around Cameron County TX, since the 1800’s.

She has a passion for Psychology and earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas State in 2018. She decided to pursue social work as a major and plans to apply to the master’s program in 2022. She feels that a career in social work is where she will find meaning and purpose.

Yadira Villalta

Yadira Villalta is a first-generation LatinX undergraduate student at Texas State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work. She chose to participate in a research study to explore the opportunities the social work program offers and become more involved in school. Challenging yourself to do things outside of your comfort zone is a great way to gain knowledge and start networking with other professionals

Cinthya Zapata

Cinthya Zapata is a senior at Texas State University. She is majoring in social work and minoring in criminal justice with an interest in law, policy, and research.

"19th and 20th Century Mexican Identity: Expressing Gender and Culture Through the Arts"

Eliana Flores

Eliana Flores is a History student at West Texas A&M University and will be graduating in May 2021. She is from Denver City, Texas, a small town between Odessa and Lubbock, Texas. As one of her professors likes to call it a crater between two cities. She has studied history since her second semester and fell in love with it.

Her main interest is the history of Latin America which she hopes to pursue her career as a professor in Latin American studies. She loves the campus setting and meeting new students, people, etc. She has always been motivated to speak with people and help to the best of her ability which she wants to do for future students just as her professors have done for her.

DAY 3 – Friday, May 21, 2021

"Exploring Latinx Rural Students’ College Choice Process through a Community Cultural Wealth Model"

Juan Lopez

Juan Lopez, M.Ed., was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, California, and is a doctoral candidate in Higher Education Administration at Texas A&M University. His research focuses on the attrition, access, retention, and degree completion of Latinx students, especially that of Latino/x males across a P-20 education pipeline.

His work amplifies the visibility of Latinx stories that often go unheard because of systemic oppression that persists in marginalizing Latinx voices as an afterthought.

Dr. Glenda Musoba

Dr. Glenda Musoba, born and raised in Pease, Minnesota, received her Ph.D. in Higher Education from Indiana University in 2004 and joined Texas A&M University as an Associate Professor in 2012. Dr. Musoba’s research focuses on educational policy, student access and student success in postsecondary education, particularly for low-income or underrepresented groups.

She teaches graduate courses in higher education finance, organizational theory, and statistics, as well as research methods and statistics at the undergraduate level.

"Luchando Through Virtual Spaces: Spreading the Word on Men of Color with Virtual Programming"

Rico Gonzalez

Ricardo “Rico” Gonzalez, M.Ed. (he/him/él), is the Administrative Program Coordinator for the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color with Project MALES. Originally from Houston, TX, Rico attended Oberlin College for his B.A. in Politics. At Cornell University, Rico served as the
Director of the New York State education grant - CSTEP, successfully co-led the McNair Trio grant writing team, and co-founded the Graduate Students Mentoring Undergraduates program.

At Texas State University he earned his M.Ed., worked with the PACE Peer Mentoring Program, and was the Special Projects Coordinator to the Dean of Students. Rico’s interests include mentoring, Latinx identity, and social justice issues.

Dr. Alejandra Jaramillo

Dr. Alejandra Jaramillo-Fontenot earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Houston Main Campus, including a Ph.D. in Latin American Studies with a minor in European history.

She is currently Professor of History at San Jacinto College North Campus. Her research interests include the agency of indigenous peoples in the legal system of New Spain and labor and tribute of native communities.

"The Hispanic Community and COVID-19: Education, Jobs, Justice, and Politics"

William Parent

William Parent teaches full time at San Jacinto College and part-time for a variety of surrounding colleges in the Houston area. The primary courses he teaches are federal and Texas government. In addition, Mr. Parent has served as an advisor and subject matter expert for numerous textbook publishers over the last decade.

Mr. Parent received his BA in history from the University of Houston-Downtown and his MLA in political science from the University of St. Thomas.

Rodrigo Aguayo

Rodrigo Aguayo, M.Ed. (he/him/él) is the Program Coordinator for the Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success) Mentoring Program. His current research interests include Latinx students in higher education and high impact mentoring practices throughout the P-20 educational pipeline. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from Texas State University and an M.Ed. in the College and University Student Personnel Administration (CUSPA) program at The University of Texas at Austin.

He is currently a first-year doctoral student in the Program in Higher Education Leadership (PHEL) at UT Austin. Rodrigo enjoys spending his free time with his family by playing regional Mexican music with his brothers.

Patrizio Amezcua

Patrizio Amezcua teaches American and Texas government at San Jacinto College-North Campus and serves as a political analyst for local Spanish television. Mr. Amezcua has presented on a number of topics including the presidency, congressional redistricting, voter turnout, and immigration policy.

Mr. Amezcua has also contributed on a number of educational materials for major publishers. He received his BA in political science from the University of Houston and his MA in political science from Texas State University.

Dr. Stephen Lopez

Dr. Stephen Lopez holds a BA and MA in History from the University of Houston Clear-Lake, in addition a Doctorate of Education from Lamar University. He currently serves as the senior professor of History at San Jacinto College North Campus. Interest includes historical perspectives on current political and social issues concerning Texas and the nation.

"Navigating Grad School for Undocumented Students"

Areli Tamayo

Areli Tamayo is a second-year graduate student at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Areli developed a toolkit titled “Navigating Grad School for Undocumented Students” due to the difficult experience of applying to graduate school.

She actively engages in education equity work in the state of Texas. Areli hopes to continue to help other undocumented students in their pursuit of a higher education and advocate for immigrant rights throughout her career.

Berenice Hernandez-Becerra

Berenice Hernandez Becerra is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and Program Director at the University of Houston College of Medicine. Mrs. Becerra’s past personal experience as an undocumented student and current work as an educator and mentor have inspired her work with student accessibility to higher education.

She is an active advocate for changes and development of practices that address social problems, improve services, and enhance the well-being of minorities and diverse communities.

"Honoring and Celebrating Latinx Alums in Central Texas University"

Dr. Gloria Martinez-Ramos

Dr. Gloria P. Martinez-Ramos is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and the inaugural Director of Latina/o Studies minor at Texas State University. Dr. Martinez-Ramos earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a B.A. in Child Development from San Jose State University, and an A.A. from Hartnell College, Salinas, California. Gloria has over 15 years of teaching Sociology, such as, Race and Ethnic Relations, Medical Sociology, Social Stratification, Introduction to Sociology, Latinos and Immigration, Latina/os and Education, and the new Latina/o Studies courses at Texas State.

Dr. Martinez is an active member of the National Diversity Scholars Network from the National Center for Institutional Diversity and a fellow of the New Leadership Academy Fellows Program, a partnership between the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, and a faculty fellow (2019-2020) of the Pardee Rand Faculty Leadership Program. She has received numerous awards for her work including the Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award from the Center for Diversity and Gender Studies, the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award, the Excellence in Inclusion and Diversity Award, and the Mariel M. Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award.

Dr. Miguel A. Guajardo

Miguel Guajardo earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 and is Professor of School and Community Leadership at Texas State University. He has co-authored three books and over 50 articles, chapters and briefings; he also presented or facilitated over 150 workshops or conference presentations.
Among his recent books includes Ecologies of Engaged Scholarship (2018) and Reframing School Community Partnerships in Education (2016).In Reframing, Guajardo, M.A., F. Guajardo, M. Militello and C. Janson innovate a process for community building and leadership development called the Community Learning Exchange (CLE).
And in a 2019 publication Miguel and Francisco Guajardo along with C. Salina and L. Cardoza posit that "re-membering, re-framing, and re-imagining" is a worthy process that helps us understand our past and envision an informed future.

Dr. Micaela Vargas

Dr. Micaela Vargas is a scientist with over 15 years’ experience in biomedical research and entrepreneurships. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Texas State University, and her M.S. in Biology and Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from The University of Texas at San Antonio. She was awarded Postdoctoral Fellowships while completing her training in regenerative medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Vargas is a biotech and health care entrepreneur and currently is a founder of a biomedical consulting company. In addition, she holds a faculty position in the Department of Biology at Texas State University, mentoring students in biomedical research and STEM careers. She is also part of research committees in support of students.

Andrea Salazar

Andrea Salazar is a Junior at Texas State University majoring in biology with a Pre-Med concentration. In 2020 she co-founded Hispanic Student Association at Texas State (HSA) with the vision to create an organization where students could come together to share similar backgrounds and experiences and ultimately to become a community.

"No pós ‘ta cabr*n: Lessons from First Generation Students to becoming First Generation professionals"

Cesar Quezada

Cesar Quezada is a Coordinator for the Multicultural Center at the University of North Texas and a student in the Master of Education Program. He is a First-Generation college student and DACA
Recipient, a Dreamer who graduated from Texas A&M University- Commerce. He currently serves as the President of UNeTE, the Latinx Staff and Faculty Alliance at UNT. He strives to make an impact in the Latinx and Hispanic Communities.

Dr. Fred Fuentes

Dr. Fred Fuentes is originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. He began his professional career as a U.S. Army soldier with several Military Police Battalions on bases in the United States and in Latin America. He was the first in his family to graduate high school and earned degrees and certificates from Del Mar College, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Texas A&M University-Commerce, and Harvard School of Public Health.

He is a first-generation student that began his academic career at a community college and self-identifies as a first-generation professional that is intentional about providing access and empowerment to other first-generation students, particularly students of color. Dr. Fred is a former Director of Health Services and a Global Health Fellow with Mercy Corps in Guatemala, Panama and Honduras. He served as the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer in Washington DC before returning to Texas A&M University - Commerce in 2015.

Among many other roles, he is the Executive Director of the Office of Latinx Engagement & Outreach with leadership roles as the inaugural president of the Latino Staff & Faculty Association-the first on his university campus’ 132 year history! Among his most honored achievements, he is a former foster parent and is the very proud father of four, two of whom he adopted while serving as a foster family in Northeast Texas.

"Empowered Self-Care for the Latinx Higher Ed Community"

Laura Zavala-Membreno

Laura Zavala-Membreno is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Houston. A two-time UH alumna and proud first-generation college graduate, Laura will be pursuing her PhD in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies at UH this Fall with a research focus in Latina persistence and success through the pursuit of an advanced degree.

Laura is native to Houston. She is married and mom to an energetic 8-month-old son.

"Examining Ethnic-Racial Identity as a Protective Factor of Resilience Among Latinx Students"

Stephanie Cuellar

Stephanie Cuellar is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Educational Leadership program at Texas Christian University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Arts in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Midwestern State University.

Her research interests include resilience among minority populations; cultural identity development; the intersectionality of race and religion in the development of anti-racist educational practices; and increasing access to post secondary education for low-income, first-generation college students

"Critical Approach to Upward Transfer of Community College Students: A Texas, Multiyear
Investigation
"

Yolanda Lopez

Yolanda Lopez works as a Grant Developer at Lone Star College. She believes grant writing is more
than just writing; it is finding opportunities for the college to support students, families, and society.

Yolanda has two Master’s degrees – one in Sustainable Tourism from Texas A&M University and
one in Sociology from Sam Houston State University (SHSU). At present, she is working on her doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from SHSU.