Márissa Vasquez Urias, Ed.D.Márissa Vasquez Urias, Ed.D.

Marissa Vasquez, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education (ARPE) at San Diego State University (SDSU).

Born and raised in South Bay San Diego, Dr. Vasquez has remained committed to uplifting the Latinx community through her teaching, research, and service. Most recently Dr. Vasquez received a national award for Outstanding Latino/a Faculty: Service/Teaching in Higher Education by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE).

Broadly, her research seeks to better understand the experiences, factors, and conditions that facilitate success among underrepresented college students, particularly men of color. Her research agenda includes three strands: (1) the pre/post transitional experiences of community college transfer students to four-year institutions; (2) using anti-deficit perspectives to examine the experiences of Latinx college students; and (3) exploring the role of community colleges in fostering welcoming and inclusive campus environments for disproportionately impacted students.

As the Associate Director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL), Dr. Vasquez leads multiple projects that involve institutional needs assessments for disproportionately impacted students in community colleges. Dr. Vasquez is also the Director of the Aztec Research Fellowship Program (ARFP), an undergraduate research program aimed at increasing the pipeline of historically marginalized students who pursue a graduate degree (primarily those who began at a community college).

In addition to her contributions as a scholar, Dr. Vasquez also dedicates her time to the Latinx community in San Diego. She is the co-chair of the scholarship committee for MANA de San Diego, a local non-profit organization that empowers and supports Latinas through education. Since 2005, she's also 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, Dr. Vasquez is the founder and co-chair of the UC Berkeley Chicanx/Latinx Alumni Association in San Diego, a non-profit organization that supports incoming UCB high school and community college Latinx students via scholarships. An ardent advocate for Latinx student success, she established the Vasquez Scholarship for Advancing Latinx Student Success at SDSU. The scholarship supports doctoral students conducting research on Latinx community college students, Latinx transfer students, and/or post-baccalaureate achievement of Latinx transfer students. Beyond the local Latinx community, Dr. Vasquez also remains dedicated to advancing research and cultivating the Latinx community at the national level.

Dr. Vasquez earned an A.A. degree from Southwestern College, a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, a M.A. in Counseling with a specialization in College Counseling and Student Development from the University of San Diego, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University.

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