Research and Equity Scholarship Institute on Student Trajectories in Education

On October 15th, 2016, Ph.D. students Gabriela Kovats Sánchez, Melissa A. Navarro, and Anthony Villarreal co-presented at the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) national conference in Long Beach, California. Their presentation, “Diverse STEM Pathways: A closer look at Latina/o students and the role of Hispanic Serving Institutions” addressed initial findings from their current research project led by SDSU faculty, Dr. Felisha Herrera Villarreal and supported by team members Michelle Ruíz (JDP) and María José Zeledon (Ed.D). The project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is housed within the Research & Equity Scholarship Institute on Student Trajectories in Education (RESISTE) at SDSU.

Their presentation addressed the unique role of Hispanic Serving Institutions and their potential in fostering the development of Latinx students’ STEM identities and increasing college completion rates. The presentation also included interactive discussions that allowed members of the audience — undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and administrators — to share their own college trajectories and personal experiences within STEM.  

Kovats Sánchez is a research analyst for RESISTE and a second year doctoral student in the Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Education at SDSU and Claremont Graduate University (CGU). Her research interests center on disaggregating the experiences of Mexican Indigenous youth in US schools from the larger pan-Latinx student context and addressing the impact of contemporary colonialism on ethnic identity development and academic self-concept.

Navarro is also a research analyst for RESISTE and third year JDP doctoral student. Her research interests revolve around the need to prepare critically conscious dual language educators on the sociopolitical, ideological, cultural and linguistic aspects of teacher preparation in general, and science education specifically.

Villarreal is a research affiliate for RESISTE and a second year JDP doctoral student. His research is focused on promoting educational outcomes for students in “new Latinx destinations” and defining educational spaces that promote Latinx student outcomes and STEM pathways for underrepresented students.

The RESISTE team has submitted proposals to various conferences this year and have already been accepted to present at the Association for the Study Higher Education (ASHE) and American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) this spring. We look forward to learning more about their future findings and presentations. You can find more information about the RESISTE team at