AAHHE & ETS Outstanding Dissertations Competition
Winner History 2020-2008

For the winners of the 2021 AAHHE & ETS Outstanding Dissertations Competition, please click here.

2020

First Place
David G. Martinez, PhD
Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational
Leadership and Policies at the College of Education
University of South Carolina
Dissertation Title: A Study of School Finance in Arizona: Equity, English Language Learners, and the Allocation of Funding
Degree Granting Institution: Arizona State University
 
Second Place
David Mickey-Pabello
Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethnoracial Relations
Hutchins Center for African and African American Research
Harvard University
 
Dissertation Title: A Structural Investigation of Laissez Faire Racism: The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Affirmative Action Bans
Degree Granting Institution: University of Michigan
 
Third Place
Darcy Orellana, EdD
Associate Director Human Resources
Chief Diversity Officer
Middlesex Community College, Massachusetts
Dissertation Title: Organizational Culture in Community Colleges: Making Connections to Diverse Student Success
Degree Granting Institution: University of Massachusetts Boston
 

2019

First place
Cynthia Alcantar
Assistant Professor
Higher Education Leadership
University of Nevada, Reno
 
Dissertation Title:  Cultivating our Nation’s Engaged Citizenry: Institutional Factors That Promote the Civic Engagement of College Students
Degree Granting Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
 
Second place
Stephany Cuevas
Academic Pathways Postdoctoral Fellow
Vanderbilt University
 
Dissertation Title: Apoyo Sacrificial, Sacrificing Support: Understanding Undocumented Latina/o Parents’ Engagement in Students’ Post- Secondary Planning and Success
Degree Granting Institution: Harvard University
 
Third place
Laura C. Chávez- Moreno
Postdoctoral Scholar
Graduate School of Education & Informational Studies
University of California, Los Angeles
 
Dissertation Title:  A Critical Race Ethnography Examining Dual- language Education in the New Latinx Diaspora: Reinforcing and Resisting Bilingual Education’s Racial Roots
Degree Granting Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

2018

First Place Winner
Frank Fernández
Assistant Professor of Higher Education
University of Houston
Dissertation Title: Doctoral Education of Latinas and Latinos in the United States: Examinations of (Sub) Baccalaureate Origins, the Role of Hispanics Serving Institutions, and the Relationship between Sources of Financial Support and Post-Graduation Plans
Degree Granting Institution: The Pennsylvania State University
 
Second Place
Marla Delgado-Guerrero
Counselor & Diversity Coordinator
Marquette University
 
Dissertation Title: Exploring Psych Sociocultural Processes Within Mentoring Relationships that Influence Academic Persistence Decisions for Latina/o Undergraduates: A Mixed Methods Approach
Degree Granting Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
 
Third Place
Roxanne Gutierrez-Ocampo
Educational Consultant
University of California, San Diego
 
Dissertation Title: Los Guerreros Academicos 30 Academically Invulnerable Mexican-American Students Who Forged Their Way into America’s Most Selective Universities
Degree Granting Institution: University of California, San Diego

2017

First place winner
Renata Alejandra Revelo Alonso
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering
University of Illinois at Chicago
Dissertation Title: Engineering Familia: The Role of a Professional Organization in the Development of Engineering Identities of Latina/o Undergraduates 22
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago
 
Rosalva M. Bumgardner
Teacher
Huntsville City Schools
 
Dissertation Title: Factors Influencing Successful Completion of a College Degree by Hispanic female educators
Degree Granting Institution: University of Oklahoma
 
Third place
Daisy Indira Collins
Instructor
Multicultural Education
Missouri State University
 
Dissertation Title: The Brown Glass Ceiling? A Qualitative Study of Hispanic Women/Latinas Leaders in Higher Education
Degree Granting Institution: Missouri State University
 

2016

First place
Adriana Ruiz Alvarado
Assistant Professor
Department of Leadership and Higher education
University of Redlands
 
Dissertation Title: Latina/o Pathways Through College: Characteristics of Mobile Students and the Institutional Networks They Create
Degree Granting Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
 
 
Second place
Nancy Acevedo-Gil
Assistant Professor Department of Educational Leadership and Technology
California State University, San Bernardino
 
Dissertation Title: College-Going Culture in an Underresourced Urban High School: Examining Latina/o College Choice and Navigation
Degree Granting Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
 
Third place
Michelle Castellanos
Associate Director of Survey Research Loyola
Loyola Marymount University
Dissertation Title: How College Affects Latinas’ Career Decision-Making Process: A
Psycho-sociocultural Approach
Degree Granting Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara
 
 

2015

First place
Sofia Bahena
Assistant Professor Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
The University of Texas, San Antonio
 
Dissertation Title: The Hope of Immigrant Optimism: Examining Immigrant Optimism Among Latino Youth Using the Children’s Hope Scale
Degree Granting Institution: Harvard University
 
Second place
Marissa Vasquez Urias
Assistant Professor Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education
San Diego State University
 
Dissertation Title: Predictors of Sense of Belonging among Latino men in Community College Degree Granting Institution: San Diego State University
 
Third place
Jerry Flores
Assistant Profesor Sociology Department
University of Toronto
 
Dissertation Title: Caught Up: Girls, Violence and Wraparound Incarceration
Degree Granting Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara
 

2014

First place
Carla Pezzia
Assistant Professor
Department of Human Sciences
University of Dallas
 
Dissertation Title: Sober Self: Discourse and Identity of Recovering Alcoholics in the Western Highlands of Guatemala
Degree Granting Institution: The University of Texas at San Antonio
 
Second place
Lucy Arellano
Assistant Professor
College of Education
Oregon State University
 
Dissertation Title: Capitalizing baccalaureate degree attainment: Revealing the path of the Latina/o scholar
Degree Granting Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
 
Third place
Wilfredo Del Pilar
Vice President for Higher Education Policy, Practice and Research
The Education Trust
 
Dissertation Title: Undocumented Students: Understanding the Context for Postsecondary Access
Degree Granting Institution: Penn State University
 

2013

First place
Marcela Cuellar
Assistant Professor
Department of Higher Education and Leadership
University of California, Davis
 
Dissertation Title: Latina/o Student Success in Higher Education: Models of Empowerment at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Emerging HSIs, and Non-HSIs
Degree Granting Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
 
Second place
Maria Cristina Cruza-Guet, co-winner
Lecturer in Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry
Yale University
 
Dissertation Title: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Relationship between Social Support and Psychological Distress among Hispanic Elders in Miami, FL
Degree Granting Institution: Lehigh University
 
Nelson Flores, co-winner
Associate Professor
Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania
 
Dissertation Title:
From Nation-States to Neoliberalism: Language Ideologies and Governmentality
Degree Granting Institution: City University of New York, Graduate Center
 
Third place
Priscila Diaz
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Azusa Pacific University
 
Dissertation Title: Perceived Group Discrimination and Problem Behavior: The Moderating Role of Traditional Cultural Values and Familiar Relationships in Mexican American Adolescents
Degree Granting Institution: Arizona State University
 

2012

First place
Kristine Molina
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Illinois at Chicago
 
Dissertation Title: A Multiple-Group Path Analysis of the Role of Social Marginality on Self-related Physical Health among U.S. Latina/o Adults: An Intersectional Perspective
Degree Granting Institution: University of Miami
 
Second place
Armando Ibarra
Associate Professor
School for Workers
University of Wisconsin- Extension
 
Dissertation Title: Poverty in the Valley of Plenty: Mexican Families and Migrant Work in California
Degree Granting Institution: University of Wisconsin
 
Third place
Carmen Martinez Calderon, co-winner
Education Programs Consultant & Lecturer
Department of Education
University of California, Berkeley
 
Dissertation Title: Out of the Shadows: An Inquiry into the Lives of Undocumented Latino AB540 Students
Degree Granting Institution: University of California, Berkeley
 
Lindsay Perez Huber, co-winner
Associate Professor
Social and Cultural Analysis of Education
California State University, Long Beach
 
Dissertation Title: Sueños Indocumentados: Using LatCrit to Explore the Testimonios of Undocumented and U.S. born Chicana College Students on Discourses of Racist Nativism in Education
Degree Granting Institution:  University of California, Los Angeles


2011


First place
Rocío Magana
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Rutgers University
 
Dissertation Title: Bodies on the Line: Life, Death, and Authority on the Arizona-Mexico Border
Degree Granting Institution: University of Chicago
 
Second place
Edris Montalvo
Associate Professor
Department of Geography
Cameron University
 
Dissertation Title: The Recruitment and Retention of Hispanic and African-American Undergraduate Students in Public Universities in the U.S., 2000-2006
Degree Granting Institution: Texas State University, San Marcos
 
 
Third place
Alisia Caban, co-winner
Assistant Director
Department of Counseling Psychology
and Human Services
University of Oregon
Dissertation Title: So Far From "Home:" Portraits of Mexican-Origin Scholarship Boys
Degree Granting Institution: University of Texas, Austin
 
Sophia Jordán Wallace, co-winner
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
University of Washington
 
Dissertation Title: Beyond Roll Call Votes: Latino Representation in the 108th - 110th Sessions of the U.S. House of Representatives
Degree Granting Institution:  Cornell University
 
2010

First place
Theresa Segura Herrera
Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
 
Dissertation Title: An Examination of Psychological Wellbeing for Latinas
Degree Granting Institution: Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago
 
Second place
Maria Martiniello
Associate Research Scientist
ETS Center for Validity Research
Stanford University
 
Dissertation Title: Linguistic Complexity and Differential Item Functioning (DIF) for English Language Learners (ELL) in Math Word Problems
Degree Granting Institution: Harvard University
 
Third place
Ryan Alcantara
Vice President of Student Affairs
and Dean of Students
Marymount California University
 
Dissertation Title: A Learning Model of Policy Making Implementation, Implementing Technology in Response to Policy Requirements
Degree Granting Institution: California State University, Fullerton
 

2009

First place
Lourdes Nájera
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Drake University
Dissertation Title: Yalálag is no longer Just Yalálag: Circulating Conflict and Contesting Community in a Zapotec Transnational Circuit
Degree Granting Institution: Stanford University
 
Second place
Sandra Larios
Staff Psychologist
Department of Psychiatry
University of California, San Francisco
 
Dissertation Title: Using the Social Ecological Model to understand the contextual factors associated with HIV risk in commercial sex workers at high risk for contracting HIV
Degree Granting Institution: University of California, San Diego
 
Third place
Adriana Lopez, co-winner
Adjunct Faculty
Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica
de Columbia
University of Pittsburgh
 
Dissertation Title: Markov Models for Longitudinal Course of Youth Bipolar Disorder
Degree Granting Institution: University of Pittsburg
 
 
Tiffany Schiffner, co-winner
Supporting Professor of Counseling
Rollins College
 
Dissertation Title: I’m just a guy!” Mexican American College Students’ Constructions of Masculinity and Sexual Health Beliefs
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Ubrana-Champaign
 

2008

First place
Patricia Perez
Professor
Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
California State University, Fullerton
 
Dissertation Title: Social Capital and Chain Migration: The College Choice Process of Chicana and Chicano Community College, Transfer and University Students
Degree Granting Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
 
Second place
Angela Caballero De Cordero
Producer/Co-Owner
Fervian Productions, LLC
Dissertation Title: Self-Efficacy Perceptions and their Impact on Latino and White Community College Student Persistence
Degree Granting Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara
 
Third place
Jason Casellas
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
University of Houston
 
Dissertation Title: Latino Representation in Congress and State Lectures
Degree Granting Institution: Princeton University