Over the years Project MALES has been fortunate to have graduate students come to be a part of our mentoring and research projects. This year we are excited to welcome incoming Ph.D. student Myra Barrera and incoming Master’s students Edgar Fidel Lopez, Armando Tellez, and Danielle Marie Zaragoza to our PM team.
Myra Barrera is a research associate for Project MALES and a first year doctoral student in the Program in Higher Education Leadership (PHEL) at the University of Texas at Austin. Myra earned a B.A. in English with a secondary teaching certification and M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus in Rhetoric & Composition from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Her current professional and research interests include college readiness, transition, persistence, and retention initiatives and strategies for first-generation/low-income Latinx students as well as secondary/postsecondary partnerships.
Edgar Fidel Lopez is a first-year Master’s student in the Educational Administration Program at the University of Texas at Austin. Edgar is a Mentoring Site Coordinator for the Project MALES Student Mentoring Program. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. As a Gates Millennium Scholarship Recipient from an urban immigrant background, Edgar overcame a multitude of challenges in order to successfully complete his undergraduate education at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA). At UCLA, Edgar double majored in Political Science and Chicana/o Studies and completed a minor in Education. His personal experiences with various layers of structural inequality shaped his desire to focus his research on Latino student success in high school and higher education, poverty and urban schooling, academic tracking and school-to-prison pipeline, and increasing Latino retention and graduation rates through mentorship. Edgar has dedicated his entire educational career to the promotion of educational equity, and he has successfully overcome many of the educational obstacles which most students study just in theory.
Armando Tellez is a Mentoring Site Coordinator for Project MALES Student Mentoring Program. He is a first year Master’s student in the College and University Student Personnel Administration (CUSPA) Program at the University of Texas at Austin. Armando earned his Associates Degree from East Los Angeles Community Colleges and a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. As a McNair Scholar, his undergraduate thesis examined how one model continuation high school reengaged Latino males toward graduating form high school. While Armando’s research interests are evolving, he is interested in how postsecondary educational policies and practices impact access for incarcerated juveniles, particularly young men of color.
Danielle Marie Zaragoza is a Mentoring Site Coordinator for Project MALES. She is a first year Master’s student in the Education department with a specialization in College & University Student Personnel Administration (CUSPA). She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Texas Tech University in 2016. Prior to enrolling in the Master’s program at UT Austin, she spent her time working as a reading teacher in Houston before working in Admissions for a private university in Austin. Her current research interests include equity in higher education, access and success for minority and low-income students. Her career aspirations include conducting research to influence higher education policy as well as advocating for minorities in higher education.
We are excited to have you, welcome to the team!