Research and Equity Scholarship Institute on Student Trajectories in Education

HSI-STEM Advisory Board

Marisol Clark-Ibáñez, PhD

Marisol Clark-Ibáñez, Ph.D is a Professor Sociology at California State University, San Marcos and Director of the National Latino Research Center. She was the original Faculty Lead for the CSUSM’s US Department of Education Title V grant for Hispanic Serving Institutions called PASO (Pathways for Academic Success and Opportunity), where she created and oversaw the implementation of culturally validating programs related to Latin@s in teaching, student mentoring, and faculty development. She is also Co-PI on an NSF S-STEM award (DUE-1742618) focused on students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science (CS) within the HSI context. TheNLRC also collaborates with the CSUSM STEM Center and other organizations to provide STEM education and community programs that have been funded by the Office of Minority Health and the Corporation for National and Community Service. 

Marcela G. Cuellar, PhD

 Marcela G. Cuellar, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education & Leadership in the School of Education at the University of California, Davis. Her research examines access and equity in higher education, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and emerging HSIs, and Latinx student success. More specifically, Dr. Cuellar employs quantitative and qualitative methods to explore Latinx students’ experiences at HSIs and emerging HSIs and how they are empowered as a result of their educational experiences during college and beyond. Her scholarship has been published in the Community College Review, Review of Higher Education, and Teachers College Record.  

Leticia Lopez, PhD

Leticia Lopez, PhD is a Program Manager at Mesa College within the San Diego Community College District. She oversees two HSI grants funded by the U.S Department of Education – the Title V Proyecto Éxito and the Title III HSI STEM Conexiones grants. She is also the Project Director for the SEEDS Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Dr. Lopez, a USDA E. Kika De La Garza Fellow, has a background in biochemistry, was a Professor of Spanish at Mesa College, and has been a champion of student success, equity, and diversity programs at Mesa during her 16-year tenure there. 

Theresa Garcia

Theresa Garcia is an Assistant Dean in the College of Engineering at SDSU and is the former Director of the MESA program and the Minority Science Program at SDSU. With over 26 years of experience working with STEM education and diversity programs, she has served as PI or Co-PI on several grant funded projects with NSF, NASA, and other agencies. She maintains strong networks and collaboration with the San Diego MESA Alliance, two- and four-year HSIs in San Diego, and industry representatives, which will provide invaluable insights from regional partnerships.