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Dr. Marissa Vasquez

Dr. Marissa C. Vasquez is an assistant professor of postsecondary educational leadership and the associate director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) at San Diego State University (SDSU). Her work with CCEAL involves leading multiple projects that involve institutional needs assessments for disproportionately impacted students in community colleges. Broadly, her research seeks to better understand the experiences, factors, and conditions that facilitate success among historically marginalized and underserved students, particularly community college and transfer students. Her research agenda includes two strands: (1) using anti-deficit perspectives to understand the pre/post transitional experiences of community college transfer students to four-year institutions and (2) exploring the role of community colleges in fostering welcoming and inclusive campus environments for disproportionately impacted students. Her work has been published in the Community College Journal of Research & Practice; Community College Review; Culture, Society, & Masculinities; and the International Journal of Leadership in Education. Prior to joining the faculty at SDSU, Vasquez worked as a student affairs educator in counseling, assessment, and outreach. She also worked as a program development associate at the Parent Institute for Quality Education, a national organization aimed at empowering parents to engage with schools and districts to transform educational outcomes for children and families. Born and raised in South Bay San Diego, Vasquez has remained committed to uplifting her community. She serves on the scholarship committee for MANA de San Diego, a local non-profit organization that empowers and supports Latinas through education. Since 2005, she’s served as a mentor for the Puente Project at Southwestern College, a program that she was once a part of as a community college student. As a UC Berkeley alum, she is the founder and co-chair of the UC Berkeley Chicanx/Latinx Alumni Association in San Diego. Vasquez also established the Vasquez Scholarship for Advancing Latinx Student Success at SDSU. The scholarship supports doctoral students conducting research on Latina/o/x community college and transfer students. Vasquez earned an associate degree from Southwestern College; a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley; a master’s degree in counseling with a specialization in college counseling and student development from the University of San Diego; and a doctorate in educational leadership from San Diego State University.

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