Dr. Marissa C. Vasquez is an assistant professor of postsecondary educational leadership and the associate director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) at San Diego State University (SDSU). Broadly, her research seeks to better understand the experiences, factors, and conditions that facilitate success among historically marginalized and underserved students, particularly community college and transfer students. Her research agenda includes three strands: (1) understanding the pre/post transitional experiences of community college transfer students to four-year institutions; (2) using anti-deficit perspectives to examine the experiences of Latina/o/x college students; and (3) exploring the role of community colleges in fostering welcoming and inclusive campus environments for disproportionately impacted students. Her work has been published in the Community College Journal of Research & Practice; the Community College Review; Culture, Society, & Masculinities; and the International Journal of Leadership in Education.
During the Obama Administration, Dr. Vasquez was invited to The White House to share her knowledge and expertise on the status of men of color in community colleges. Dr. Vasquez also serves as the Co-Editor of the Journal of Applied Research in the Community College and is a Faculty Affiliate for Project MALES, an initiative supported by the University of Texas at Austin to sustain the development and visibility of scholarship on men of color. In addition to research, she has received recognition for her outstanding teaching from national organizations such as the National Association of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE).
Prior to joining the faculty at SDSU, Dr. Vasquez worked as a student affairs educator in counseling, assessment, and outreach. She also worked as a program development associate at the Parent Institute for Quality Education, a national organization aimed at empowering parents to engage with schools and districts to transform educational outcomes for children and families. Dr. Vasquez earned an associate degree from Southwestern College; a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley; a master’s degree in Counseling with a specialization in College Counseling and Student Development from the University of San Diego; and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University.