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Within my research, my goals are to collaboratively generate new knowledge and enact change. I am skilled in conducting equity evaluations of institutional and federal policy. I am committed to expanding academic and scholarly spaces. 

Content. I focus my scholarship on access and equity in higher education. For instance, I have used qualitative data to challenge the quantitative student and institutional success metrics. These metrics are typically based on a university and traditional student model which hinder accurate evaluations. 

I am also one of the only scholars who has investigated the federal Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. I provided a needed qualitative critique demonstrating how the criteria to sort and exclude students with marginalized demographics and continue this work today and wrote a position paper arguing for community-owned policy evaluation.

Art design photo from Taras Hrtsak
Taken from Photo by Taras Hrytsak on Unsplash

Methodology. I am also skilled in participatory action research (PAR) and community-based participatory research (CBPR) methodologies. When conducting participatory research, it is imperative to build a team or coalition who creates spaces to share power, challenge conventional thinking, and support each other in the research process. 

In addition to my knowledge and technical skillsets, I have cultivated relationships and trust over the past two decades. My experience and connections allow me to meaningfully engage individuals impacted by the focus of inquiry to successfully conduct collaborative research.

Culmination. Often I combine my content and methodological interests to conduct PAR in higher education. My previous research has included partnering with a diverse range of students at open door community colleges, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and historically and predominantly White serving institutions. Across these studies, the constant was forming a power-sharing collective to investigate barriers students faced and achieve equity-focused institutional policy and practical change based on our findings. 

Word Cloud Art image
Word Cloud from research findings

These projects also served to create a scholarship pipeline for students who have the promise and passion to be successful in advanced graduate level study. I employ empowerment strategies to build on students’ existing strengths and work with them to take their skills and confidence to the next level.