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Dr. Leslie D. Gonzales

2Title: Associate Professor in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Learning Unit, Michigan State University

Gonzales is an associate professor in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Learning unit at Michigan State University in the College of Education. She also serves as an affiliate faculty member in the Center for Gender in a Global Context and Chicanx/Latinx studies and was recently named as an associate editor for the Review of Higher Education. In 2019, Gonzales served as the program/conference chair for the Association for the Study of Higher Education, under Dr. Kris Renn’s presidency. As a working-class, Latina, first-generation college-student-turned academic, who earned all three of her academic degrees from Hispanic Serving Institutions, Gonzales is committed to building an academic profession that honors the contributions that scholars of color bring to the academy. To this end, Gonzales’s research is focused on the interplay of evaluation practices, departmental, disciplinary and organizational cultures as well as faculty experiences and outcomes. Mainly concerned with the evaluation of scholars’ knowledge production, Gonzales studies how hiring, tenure and promotion norms and practices can marginalize scholars of color, especially scholars of color educated in historically under-resourced institutions (e.g., community colleges, minority serving institutions). In recent years, Gonzales has moved her research into action and often works with individual faculty members, departments or entire colleges as they strive to unsettle exclusionary practices and norms to foster more inclusive workplace settings. Much of this work underpins Gonzales’s research in Aspire, a multi-million dollar project sponsored by the National Science Foundation.  Gonzales is the daughter of Thomas W. Gonzales and Louise D. Gonzales, to whom she owes her love of learning. Gonzales is the partner to Ruben Flores, Jr., who is her best friend and greatest support. Finally, Gonzales is the mother of a fiercely smart and fun daughter, Sudeshna, who keeps her grounded and inspired to work towards a just academy. Gonzales notes that this special recognition by Diverse is evidence of the love and support she has received from her family, friends, academic hermanas and mentors over the years. 

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