I engage in me-search. Me-search describes research grounded in my own experiences as a first-generation Mixed-Race Latina scholar. My research, teaching, and service are centered around diversity, equity and inclusion. These commitments are intertwined with my own collegiate experiences and the ones of those closest to me. My research examines the myriad ways in which Students of Color are socialized into the academy. I have a vested interest in examining how Students of Color are exposed to—and the ways they engage in—undergraduate research. During my first year of college, I participated in a program that exposed high achieving Students of Color to undergraduate research. This program, quite literally, changed the path of my life. Neither of my parents graduated from high school, but during my high school career, my mother began her college journey, and this impacted my educational trajectory. Her decision allowed me to finally see that college could be a viable option. Participating in undergraduate research provided me a space where my constant questioning was accepted. My involvement gave me an avenue to study the inequity I observed in the educational pipeline; this experience led me to engage deeply and continuously in undergraduate research as a student, and it has propelled my engagement as a scholar.
My research examines how historically marginalized students, Students of Color in particular, are socialized into, and within, the academy. I seek to examine critical, bi-directional socialization that encourages students to bring their identities into their educational experiences and their research engagement. This is tied to my desire to increase the pipeline of Students of Color pursuing graduate education, which is woven to my commitment to diversifying leadership in colleges and universities (at all faculty, staff, and administrative ranks). My research is published in outlets such as, Review of Higher Education, American Educational Research Journal, Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, and the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. I currently serve as a reviewer for the NASPA Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice.
I hold a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MA in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Photo Credit: Damon Jay Photography