Tolu Taiwo, Co-Editor
Tolu Taiwo is a doctoral student in the Higher Education program at Azusa Pacific University. She received her bachelor's degree in News Editorial Journalism from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, and her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University. As a Black queer feminist scholar, Tolu’s research interests include Black womxn’s experiences with campus and community organizing, Black student experiences at dominantly white colleges, and liberation pedagogy. Her dissertation is on HIV/AIDs activism and the decolonization of institutional spaces in South Africa. When she is not working or dissertating, Tolu loves to roller skate, hang out with friends, and watch everything and anything on Netflix.
Nadeeka Karunaratne, Co-Editor
Nadeeka Karunaratne is a PhD candidate in the Higher Education & Organizational Change program at UCLA and an Adjunct Instructor in California Lutheran University's Department of Counselor Education. She conducts research on issues of campus sexual and relationship violence, specifically exploring the experiences of women of color survivors with a focus on healing. She previously worked as a Program Coordinator in the Race and Equity Center at the University of Southern California, as the Student Development Coordinator in UC Irvine's Cross-Cultural Center, and as the Violence Prevention Coordinator for UC Irvine’s Campus Assault Resources & Education office. She has a master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University. Nadeeka enjoys practicing and teaching trauma-informed yoga, and loves traveling, elephants, and cheese.
Jesenia Rosales, Associate Editor
Jesenia Rosales is a third-year doctoral student and research assistant in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) at Michigan State University. She is originally from South Central Los Angeles, California. Jesenia earned a B.A. in Hispanic Studies and Psychology with minors in Latin American Studies and Visual Art from Wheaton College (MA) and her M.Ed. in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California. Prior to earning her M.Ed., she was a former Spanish and art high school teacher. Her research focuses on the professoriate, critical whiteness studies, colorism in Latina/o/x, and organizational equity. She is the assistant editor for Community College Review Journal. Jesenia enjoys drawing, painting, listening to live music, and spending time with family and friends.
Sylvia Washington, Associate Editor
Sylvia Washington is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at Indiana University Bloomington. Sylvia holds a B.S. in Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a MSE in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her research primarily focuses on black identity development, sense of belonging and socialization of African American students, race and gender in popular culture through the use of intersectionality and black feminist thought as critical frameworks. As a doctoral student, Sylvia currently serves as a Project Associate for the National Survey for Student Engagement and a member of the Feminist Research Collective. Sylvia is currently working on her dissertation, which examines black undergraduate womxn identity development at Predominately White Institutions through the lens of television portrayals of Black womxnhood.
Tristen Hall, Associate Editor
Tristen Hall is a second year doctoral student in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Miami University - Oxford, OH. Their research interests include race and racism, relationality, and horizontal oppression in higher education. Using a transnational feminist and critical race lens, their research seeks to examine the complexities of multiple marginalized identities and solidarity building. Tristen earned their B.A. in Psychology and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of Cincinnati in 2017 and their M.Ed. in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago in 2019. Outside of school and writing, Tristen enjoys hiking, trying new recipes, and playing with their dog Moonie.
Brandy S. Propst, Editorial Assistant
Brandy is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a concentration in Higher Education program at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Her research interests include Black feminist theory, critical race feminism, the self-care practices of higher education professionals, and the experiences of Black women in higher education. Brandy is currently writing her dissertation proposal, which focuses on the experiences of Black women student affairs professionals and the critical incidents that occur within their working relationships with white women higher education professionals. As a scholar-practitioner with 15 years of experience in higher education, Brandy also serves as the Director of Elon 101/Assistant Director of Academic Advising within the Koenigsberger Learning Center (KLC) at Elon University. In her role, Brandy coordinates first-year advising and oversees advisor training, faculty development, curriculum development, peer education, and cross-divisional partnerships for 110 sections of Elon 101, the first-year academic advising seminar, a nationally recognized first-year experience program for all incoming, first-year students at Elon. She also received her B.A. in Sociology and African American Studies and M.Ed. in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education (SPAHE) from UNCG.
Costin Thampikutty, Editorial Assistant
Costin Thampikutty (He/him/his) is a College Success Program Manager at Let’s Get Ready and a Higher Education Ph.D. student at Rutgers University. His professional work focuses on first-generation college student persistence, and his research focuses on campus ministry experiences of students of color and the impact of these experiences on racial and religious identity development. Shifting back and forth in his career between college access work and student affairs administration, Costin values sharing community with other educators and welcomes all collaboration.
Daisy Rodriguez, Editorial Assistant
Daisy Rodriguez is a first-year doctoral student in the Higher Education Ph.D. program at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). She holds a graduate assistantship with the department of Education Policy Studies as the Bunton-Waller fellow for the Higher Education program. Daisy holds a B.S. in Public Administration and Political Science with the option in Legal Studies from California State University, Chico and her M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) from Miami Univeristy, Ohio. She is also a member of the Pedagogy of Student Success Project (TPSSP) lead by Dr. David Perez II. Daisy's research interest centers on creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive experiences for students who attend higher education institutions while challenging the ways universities function and knowledge is constructed. Specifically Daisy aims to examine the identity development and resiliency of LatinX students, intersecting with the complicated reliance of success through a post-colonial, anti-racist, and critical lens.
Douglas Lee, Editorial Assistant
Douglas H. Lee is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Higher Education Leadership program at Colorado State University. His research includes Asian Americans in higher education, antiblackness, and selective college admissions. He has worked in higher education as a practitioner at Northeastern University and the University of Utah Asia Campus and also worked for OCA prior to graduate school, an Asian American social justice non-profit in Washington, DC. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia and a M.A. in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland, College Park. Douglas enjoys feeling exhausted after spending time with his family, agonizing over his fantasy football team, and having a long list of books he would like to read but never getting around to it.
Hannah Reyes, Editorial Assistant
Hannah Reyes (she/her) is a Latina and Indigenous scholar currently pursuing her master’s in the Administration of Higher Education program at Auburn University. Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, Hannah attended Mississippi State University (MSU) for her B.S. in kinesiology before then working professionally for MSU’s multicultural center. There, she advised groups like the Latino Student Association and cultivated her passion for student affairs. Committed to underserved student issues, Hannah incorporates equitable frameworks like Community Cultural Wealth and Critical Race Theory in her own praxis and research.
Jasmin Patrón-Vargas, Editorial Assistant
Jasmin Patrón-Vargas is a dual Ph.D. student in Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education and Chicano/Latino Studies at Michigan State University. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Latina/o Studies and Gender and Women Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her M.Ed from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Educational Policy Studies. Her interdisciplinary research interests include identity development, race and ethnicity, and ethnic studies education with an emphasis on Chicanx history. Her current research examines the curriculum development and implementation of recent K-12 ethnic studies policies. Through her research, Jasmin aims to contribute to the learning of race/ethnicity, gender, and other issues of power in education. Jasmin identifies as a Chicana sCHOLAr born and raised in La Villita, Chicago. She is a proud product of immigrant parents and Chicago Public Schools.
Karina Castro-Pavón, Editorial Assistant
Karina Castro-Pavón is a second-year doctoral student in the Higher Education Program at Loyola University Chicago. As a first-generation, DACA-mented student, she seeks to privilege immigrant voices and lived experiences to inform practice, theory, and methodology. Karina earned her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Beyond academia, she has committed to service for fellow immigrants in various capacities, such as Post Release Outreach Specialist at the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) and San Antonio Education Partnership Liaison for the Mexican Consulate. In her free time, Karina enjoys painting watercolor portraits and spending time with loved ones.
Lisa Delacruz Combs, Editorial Assistant
Lisa Delacruz Combs is a second-year doctoral student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Program at The Ohio State University. She recently transitioned from her role as a Program Coordinator in the Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office at Loyola University Chicago. Her research interests include race, multiraciality, Filipinx identity, and identity interconnections. She received her B.A. in English and Political Science from The Ohio State University and her M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In her free time, Lisa is a fitness instructor and enjoys watching TV, shopping, and eating desserts.
Que N. Tran, Editorial Assistant
Que N. Tran is a Vietnamese doctoral candidate in Adult and Higher Education program at Montana State University. Prior to the doctoral studies, she was a Humphrey Fellow at Pennsylvania State University to study the US higher education system, and industry-university collaboration. She receives a graduate assistantship at Montana State University to use a statewide longitudinal dataset to analyze patterns of college enrollment and STEM major choice. She also examines the relationships of faculty, peer, mentor interactions and graduate students in STEM fields. Her research interests are college access, retention, socialization, student success, and diversity. She pursued her undergraduate education in Vietnam and holds a B.A in English language from Hanoi University, a B.Sc in External Economics from Foreign Trade University. She earned M.Sc in Marketing from University College Dublin, Ireland. Throughout her over a decade of professional experiences, she has administered graduate programs coordination, promoted international higher education cooperation, and conducted research on college choices. She enjoys walking, biking, and cooking In her free time.
Tori Callais, Editorial Assistant
Tori Callais is a second-year doctoral student in the higher education program at Loyola University Chicago and works with Dr. Demetri Morgan as a research assistant. Prior to enrolling at Loyola, Tori worked as a practitioner in the areas of orientation, first year experience, college access, as well as working in state government. Her research interests include critical whiteness studies, the intersection of whiteness and gender, and antiracism in higher education. Tori received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana State University with a major in liberal arts- concentration women and gender studies and minors in sociology and social work. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Higher Education Administration from Louisiana State University. Outside of her studies, Tori can be found playing with her dog, exploring the nearest park, or spending time with family and friends.
Advisory Board (2021-2024)
Antonio Duran, Auburn University, Twitter
Antonio Duran (he/him) is an Assistant Professor at Auburn University in the Administration of Higher Education program. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Antonio had the opportunity to attend New York University for his undergraduate institution thanks to a first-generation college student scholars program. From his time at NYU, he then attended Miami University in Oxford, OH, receiving his master's degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education. It was during his time at Miami University that he found his love for engaging in research about minoritized individuals in postsecondary education. He pursued this passion for research by obtaining his Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the Ohio State University. Now, his scholarship involves understanding how historical and contemporary legacies of oppression (e.g., racism, heterosexism, and trans oppression) influence college student development, experiences, and success.
Blanca Torres-Olave, Loyola University Chicago, SOE
Blanca Torres-Olave is an Associate Professor of Higher Education and International Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago. Her current research uses gendered and transnational perspectives to analyze the transition to the labor market and overall quality of employment for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) graduates. Her work on international higher education includes research on English-medium instruction in postcolonial contexts and its impact on student identity and academic communities; as well as the stratification of academic labor and networks from a comparative perspective. She received her PhD from the University of Arizona and also holds degrees from the University of British Columbia and from Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua.
Brit Williams, St. Cloud State University, Twitter
Brittany M. Williams, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. Her research critically examines workplace and career development issues, social class, identity, and HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness in college contexts. Black women and girls serve as her primary population for scholarly inquiry. An avid community builder, Williams is a co-founder of #CiteASista and one of five founding members of #SisterPhD, two digital counter-communities for Black women within and beyond college and university environments. Williams’ scholarship, as well as her personal and professional advocacy, have been featured in and by the White House Initiative on HBCUs, National Public Radio (NPR), the National Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), Teach for America, the National Minority Aids Council (NMAC) and in a host of academic journals. You can find her tweeting away via @DrBritWilliams and online at drbritwilliams[dot]com.
Chris R. Glass, Boston College, Twitter
Chris R. Glass, PhD, is a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Educational Leadership & Higher Education at Boston College. His research and writing focus on issues of equity, sustainability, and belonging in global student mobility. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Students, the Co-Editor of the Routledge Studies in Global Student Mobility book series, and Vice President for Research and Public Policy at the STAR Scholars Network. He co-authored the recent monograph by the American Council on Education (ACE) titled, "Toward Greater Inclusion and Success: A New Compact for International Students” and was the recipient of the NAFSA Innovative Research in International Education Award. He has a deep commitment to the transformative power of international education, developed through years of leading study abroad programs and strengthened by personal connections with international students and scholars around the world. His research has been published in the International Journal of Educational Development, Studies in Higher Education, Higher Education Research & Development, Compare, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, and the Journal of Studies in International Education.
Lorenzo Baber, Loyola University Chicago, Twitter
Lorenzo DuBois Baber is an Associate Professor and Program Chair of Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Baber's scholarly interest broadly examine equity and social justice in post-secondary education. His research foci include leadership within community college contexts; experiences of minoritized students in post-secondary STEM education; and use of critical theory to inform higher education policies and practices.
Dr. Baber is the author of nearly forty journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports. His scholarship has been published in leading higher education journals and featured in public spaces, including the National Science Foundation website and National Public Radio (NPR). Dr. Baber has served on over 60 doctoral dissertations committees and chaired 18, including on that was awarded the 2017 Outstanding Dissertation of the Year from the American Association of Hispanics in Education. He has taught sixteen different course topics in higher education.
Raja Gopal Bhattar, Bhattar Consulting, LLC & American River College, Twitter
Dr. Raja Gopal Bhattar (pronouns: they/them/theirs) is a nationally-recognized higher education leader, advocate, strategist and author. Previously, Dr. Bhattar served as the Assistant Provost and Executive Director of the Center for Identity + Inclusion at the University of Chicago, overseeing the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, LGBTQ Student Life and Student Support Services along with campus-wide climate and inclusion work. Raja has also held positions at the University of California – Los Angeles, American River College (Los Rios Community College District), University of Redlands, University of Vermont, Champlain College and Semester at Sea (University of Virginia). They hold a PhD and Master of Arts degrees in Higher Education and Organizational Change from UCLA, a Master of Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont and Bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in Spanish Literature from Boston University.
Raja’s work straddles qualitative and quantitative approaches to intersectional identity development and the experiences of LGBTQ people, immigrants, first-generation students, international students and people of color in higher education. Dr. Bhattar is an inaugural Racial Equity Fellow with InterFaith Youth Core’s Interfaith America initiative. Dr. Bhattar comes from a lineage of Hindu spiritual leaders and is a proud queer and gender non-conforming person of color, 1.5 generation immigrant, first-generation college student and spiritual practitioner. They approach this work with a passion for sustainable organizational impact and a bold vision of equity and access through social change.
Stephen Santa-Ramirez, University at Buffalo, Twitter
Dr. Stephen Santa-Ramirez (he/him) is currently an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University at Buffalo. His vast experiences in higher education and student affairs include work in Multicultural and LGBT+ Affairs, Residential Life and Housing Services, and Migrant Student Services. A former Associate Editor for JCSHESA, Dr. Santa Ramirez's personal and professional experiences in higher education – and identity as a scholar-activist – have played formative roles in developing his research agenda. Writ large, his scholarship investigates campus racial climate, first-generation students' sense of belonging, and the various ways race, ethnicity, and im/migration inform Latinx collegians’ educational experiences. Dr. Santa-Ramirez holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy & Evaluation from Arizona State University, a master’s in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University, and a bachelor’s in Communication Studies from West Chester University. In his spare time, he enjoys salsa dancing, hiking, traveling, and binge-watching various tv shows.
Sydney Curtis, Loyola University Chicago
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sydney Curtis (she/her) is a third-year doctoral student in Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago (LUC). Her research focuses on the relationship between spirituality, social justice, Black feminism, and critical pedagogies. She also works at the University of Chicago as a Learning Designer and offers editing, facilitation and curriculum design services through her LLC, Convey Editing and Curriculum Design. Sydney earned a B.S. in Athletic Training from Texas State University in 2016 and an M.Ed. in Higher Education from LUC in 2018. In her free time, she enjoys going on walks, listening to music, and visiting coffee shops throughout Chicago.
Tonia Guida, The University of Texas at Austin, Twitter
Tonia Guida currently serves on the faculty for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Concentration in the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin and is a Visiting Scholar in the Center for Critical Race Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her dissertation was titled, White College Women, Race, and Place Matters: White Undergraduate Women’s Experiences and Perceptions of whiteness at UCLA, a qualitative study that examined whiteness, gender, and the lived environment for white undergraduate women. Her research agenda entails theorizing around whiteness in higher education and developing more racially and socially just campus environments. Her most recent scholarship has been featured in Taboo, Urban Education, The Review of Higher Ed, Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, and Community College Review.
Travis Smith, University of Florida, Twitter
Dr. Travis C. Smith earned a Ph.D in the Educational Leadership in Higher Education at Clemson University. As a critical educator, he focuses on inquiry, practice, and pedagogy that helps disrupt oppressive systems in order to support racially minoritized students. His research agenda is centered in Black student involvement, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Black graduate students.
Some of his previous work utilizes a variety of methodological qualitative approaches such as phenomenology, photo-elicitation, photovoice, and critical participatory action research. Travis’ work can be found in the Journal of Student Affairs in Africa, The Bulletin, The Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, and The Journal of Student Affairs. Travis is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of the Student Personnel in Higher Education program at the University of Florida. He ultimately hopes to become a university president of an HBCU.
Z Nicolazzo, University of Arizona, Twitter
Dr. Z Nicolazzo is an Associate Professor of Trans* Studies in Education in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Practice at the University of Arizona. Her research focuses on the affects and effects of discourses of gender in higher education. Her first book is titled Trans* In College: Transgender Students' Strategies for Navigating Campus Life and the Institutional Politics of Inclusion.