Maria L. Espino, M.A
Research Group/Project Coordinator | SSTEM Project Lead
PhD student in Higher Education, Iowa State University
Graduation: Spring 2022
Research interests: College Access, Community Colleges, Early College High Schools, Dual-Enrollment, First-Generation, Low-Income, Diversity & Equity Institutional Policy, Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theory, Multicultural students, LGBTQ+ Students, STEM Students, Multicultural Greek Letter Organizations, Marginalized Communities, Recruitment & Retention, Intersectionality, Student Identity Development, Environment Theory
Professional goals for the future: Upon completion of the PhD, Maria would like to continue to be a voice and advocate for students in Higher Education while being an educator and researcher. She aspires to work as faculty while, providing services and mentorship to students.
SSTEM Research Volunteer
Additional job/assistantship: Brian works full time as the Undergraduate Program Coordinator for the Science Bound Program, a full tuition scholarship for students who are pursuing an ASTEM (Agriculture, Science, Technology, and Math) degree at Iowa State University.
Professional goals for future: Brian hopes to pursue a PhD in Higher Education and ultimately work in a director type position where he will be able to help students from marginalized backgrounds.
Research Interests: Retention of First Gen/Low Income Students pursuing an ASTEM Degree, Recruitment & Retention, STEM Students, First Gen/ Low Income
Social Media: Linkedin
Thomas Brooks, M.S.
COVID-RAPID Graduate Project Lead
PhD Student in Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University-Commerce
Graduation: Spring 2021
Research interests: Human sexuality, trauma-informed education, social psychology of fandoms
Professional goals for the future: After graduating with his PhD in Educational Psychology, Thomas would like to become a professor of psychology and continue to pursue research and teaching students.
Hannah Hightower, B.S.
Hispanic Serving Community Colleges - Developmental Math Education Project Lead
Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) student, Texas A&M University-Commerce
Graduation: May 2022
Research interests: Autism spectrum disorders, Bilingualism and Autism, Transition to college, Intersectionality, Perceived Control and Anxiety, Anxiety and COVID-19
Professional goals for the future: Upon completion of her SSP, Hannah would like to work as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) in the public schools, where she hopes to help students overcome learning, social-emotional, behavioral, and mental health difficulties. She also hopes to one day obtain a Ph.D. in School Psychology and become a licensed psychologist.
Norma Garza Reyes, M.S.
Latinas in STEM Project Lead
PhD student in Experimental/Social Psychology, The University of Texas at Arlington
Graduation: December 2021
Research interests: attitudes toward immigrants and immigration, acculturative stress, bi-cultural identity, right-wing authoritarianism, nationalism, patriotism, underrepresented students in higher education, Latinas in STEM fields, voter turnout, political efficacy.
Professional goals for the future: after graduation, Norma would like to continue working in a higher education institution, ideally as a professor, but she is open to other positions as well. She aspires to be a source of mentorship for students while conducting research related to her interests.