On behalf of Project MALES we would like to welcome our newest faculty and research affiliates, Dr. Michael E. Nava, Dr. Bernadette Sánchez, and Dr. Mellie Torres.
Michael E. Nava, Ph.D., is the Associate Dean for Student Services, University College at Texas State University holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and a doctor of philosophy degree in higher education administration from The University of Texas at Austin.
Upon his arrival at Texas State University (2011), Dr. Nava assisted in the implementation of the Personalized Academic and Career Exploration (PACE) Center and he has had responsibilities in overseeing the PACE Mentoring and Academic Coaching (MAC) Program, PACE Academic Advising Center, Texas Success Initiative Program, Pathway Program, Title V and Title III grant student services, Minority Male Initiative, and assessment for the PACE Center. In addition to his administrative role at Texas State University, Dr. Nava has held a lecturer position within the Department of Occupational, Workforce, and Leadership Studies (OWLS) in the College of Applied Arts since 2013. The bulk of Dr. Nava’s experience comes from working with TRiO Programs (specifically the Ronald E McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program and the Student Support Services Program). He has successfully written four grants as the Principal Investigator (Student Support Services Program (2), Ronald E McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, and Minority Male Initiative) and is currently Co-Principal Investigator on three grants. He has experience developing data-driven comprehensive academic support programs aimed at serving first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented college students and minority males at institutions of higher education. As an administrator, he has provided leadership in the area of student development and retention programs.
Bernadette Sánchez, Ph.D., is a Professor of Community Psychology at DePaul University. She is an expert on the role of mentoring relationships in the positive development of urban, low-income adolescents of color. Her research is on the role of formal and natural mentoring relationships in youth’s educational experiences, the resilience of marginalized youth, and the role of racial and ethnic processes, such as racial discrimination and racial/ethnic identity, in adolescent development. She has over 40 publications and 100 presentations. She authored literature reviews on the roles of race, ethnicity, and culture in youth mentoring for the first and second editions of the leading scholarly handbook for youth mentoring. She recently received a Distinguished Fellow Award from the William T. Grant Foundation. She has also received funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and local foundations for her research. Bernadette is a member of the Research Board for the National Mentoring Resource Center, received the 2014 Ethnic Minority Mentoring Award from the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA), and is a SCRA Fellow. She received her B.A. inPsychology from Fairfield University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Community and Prevention Research from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Mellie Torres, Ph.D. has over 15 years of professional experience in education as a practitioner, applied researcher and program evaluator. A mixed-methods and culturally responsive researcher, Mellie has content expertise in the intersection of racial and gender identity, academic identity, and the school context, out of school time programming, and the education of Latino/a students and other vulnerable populations. Her research examines the educational experiences of Latino male students with a focus on the intersecting identities of race, ethnicity and gender. Her publications include An exploratory study of the academic engagement and beliefs of Latino male high school students, published in Race, ethnicity, and education (2015), Social mobility and the complex status of Latino males: Education, employment, and incarceration patterns from 2000 – 2009 in Invisible No More: Understanding the Disenfranchisement of Latino men and boys (2011), and From the Bricks to the Hall, published in the Harvard Educational Review (2009). She holds a Ph.D. degree in Education from New York University, master’s degrees in Mathematics Education from Montclair State University and in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, and an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Seton Hall University. Prior to her doctoral studies, she taught high school math in her hometown of Newark, NJ.