Day 1 Keynote Speaker
Dr. David Martinez
Department of Educational Leadership and Policies
University of South Carolina
Davíd G. Martínez, Ph.D. is a Tenure Track Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policies at the College of Education of the University of South Carolina. Davíd is a protean critical school finance policy scholar connecting policy knowledge and praxis through multi-method inquiry. His research focuses on the intersection of Education Finance Policy, Critical Theory/ Critical Race Theory, and Equity of Educational Opportunity. Through the lens of Rawlsian Social Justice and Aristotelian Equity Davíd seeks to understand how school funding policy/reform impacts funding availability and spending in low-income, ethnically and linguistically diverse, minoritized communities. Prior to pursuing his Professorship, Davíd was a Research Analyst for the Maricopa County Community College District office, an Educational Administrator in Northern Illinois, and a middle school and high school educator.
Davíd has presented his work at the American Educational Research Association, Arizona Educational Research Organization, Association for Education Finance and Policy, European Conference on Educational Research, National Education Finance Conference, and the University Council for Educational Administration conference. Davíd has published work in Educational Policy, the Journal of Education Finance, Teachers College Record, and with the Morrison Institute for Public Policy.
Davíd is currently a Center for Innovation in Higher Education Fellow, Treasurer of the AERA Fiscal Issues, Policy and Education Finance and Bilingual Education Research special interest groups, and a Board of Trustee member with the National Education Finance Academy. Davíd is also working to advocate for the LatinX community of South Carolina through his faculty affiliation with the Center on Migration Policy, Society, and the South Eastern Immigration Studies Association, La Alianza Hispana of South Carolina, and as a board member of Richland County First-Steps. In his time-off Davíd enjoys spending time with Élise his 2-year-old co-worker, cooking for his family and friends, and playing music.
Day 2 Keynote Speaker
Dr. Susan Thomason
Associate Vice President
Teaching and Learning Excellence Division
Austin Community College District
Dr. Susan Thomason is a creative and dedicated change agent with more than 30 years of experience in higher education management, planning and evaluation to improve student learning environments and support equitable outcomes for all students. She has a strong record of success in the design, development and implementation of instructional and student support programs, activities, and tools by leveraging talent and technology suited to organizational improvements.
She has been a core member of Austin Community College’s Student Success initiatives, Academic Master Planning efforts and formed part of the Achieving the Dream and Texas Pathways Project Teams. She has participated in the Community College Center for Student Engagement Entering Student Success Institutes and been recognized for her work in developing guided pathways through process mapping and the integration of technology solutions – in particular, the design and development of a highly successful online student orientation that showed significant gains in persistence rates for men of color.
Dr. Thomason has also provided consulting and planning services to the Alamo Colleges in San Antonio Texas and Wallace State Community College in Henceville, Alabama, to develop process maps for district-wide student success initiatives. She most recently served on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board negotiated rulemaking committee on course sequencing and Statewide Transfer Alliance.
Dr. Thomason, originally from Ecuador, has extensive international experience and has lived and traveled throughout South American and Asia. She speaks fluent Spanish.