2024 Graduate Student Policy Seminar

Thursday, March 21, 2024
10:00am - 4:00pm Central/Minneapolis Time
Event will be held virtually

The Graduate Student Policy Seminar, presented by the ASHE Council for Public Policy in Higher Education (CPPHE), provides graduate students with opportunities to interact with researchers and policymakers who are knowledgeable about critical public policy issues related to higher education. The seminar also offers participants an opportunity to engage other advanced graduate students with similar interests and ambitions from universities across the nation.

Who should attend:

  • Doctoral and Graduate Students who are interested in or whose research focuses on the intersections of public policy and higher education

Registration Bonus Offering: Graduate Student Policy Brief Writing Workshop

All attendees of the Seminar are also invited to attend a special follow up workshop offered by ASHE educational partner, the Scholars Strategy Network, at no additional cost on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 from 11am-12:30pm Central/Minneapolis Time.

This workshop is for scholars who want to learn how to write compelling and jargon-free policy briefs. Participants move through each step of the policy brief drafting process and actively shape their idea into a first draft. The workshop includes practical information on how to distribute your policy brief for maximum impact.

During this workshop, you will:

  • Learn how policy briefs are used in the policymaking process
  • Understand the components of a policy brief
  • Begin writing the outline of your brief through a guided exercise with feedback
  • Read and evaluate a sample policy brief
  • Have best practices for sharing your brief with a policymaker

Once you're registered for the Graduate Student Policy Seminar, you will receive additional information for how to attend this event.



Learning/Program Outcomes

The Graduate Student Policy Seminar will:

  1. Engage students in critical analysis of substantive state and federal policy issues that influence American higher education (such as free college/finance, financial aid, accountability, equity and social justice, HEA reauthorization, degree attainment, governance and leadership, the CARES Act to name a few) and institutional responses to and agency in shaping those policies.
  2. Expose students to career networks crucial for transition to scholarship or policy work.

Schedule

Welcome, Land Acknowledgement, & Introductions

Eric Felix

Eric Felix, Event Chair
(he/him/his)
Associate Professor, San Diego State University

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Dr. Eric R. Felix is a CSU Profe that leads the CCHALES Research Collective at SDSU focused on advancing scholarship and practice that creates more just and equitable institutions for communities of color.


In Search of New Visions: Defining the Scope and Purpose of Higher Education Policy Research

Heather McCambly

Heather McCambly, PhD
(she/her/hers)
Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh

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Heather McCambly is an assistant professor of critical higher education policy at the University of Pittsburgh and a faculty affiliate at the Office of Community College Research and Leadership at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. As a critical organizational scholar, she uses multiple analytic methods to examine the role of funders, policy, and politics in shaping more (or less) racially just futures in postsecondary education.


Karina Salazar

Karina Salazar, PhD
(she/her/hers)
Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

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Karina Salazar is an assistant professor in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at The University of Arizona. Her research analyzes how the enrollment management practices of public universities shape college access for underserved student populations. Using data science methodologies and the Freedom of Information Act as data collection strategies, her current work focuses on exploring how university recruiting and marketing efforts interact with spatial politics that contribute to the educational disenfranchisement of communities of color.


Policy Research Symposium

Cassandra Arroyo

Cassandra Arroyo
(she/her/ella)
Doctoral Candidate, University of Michigan

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Cassandra is a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan. Broadly, her research leverages decolonial scholarship to study higher education in Puerto Rico. Her dissertation focuses on the ways colonialism and coloniality shape access to federal resources for Puerto Rican colleges and universities through the Title V, Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program.


Lizeth I. Lizárraga-Dueñas

Lizeth I. Lizárraga-Dueñas
(she/hers/ella)
Doctoral Student, The University of Texas at Austin

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Lizeth Lizárraga is a PhD student in the Education Policy and Planning program at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests focus on issues of educational equity and opportunity for culturally and linguistically diverse students in K-12. Lizeth is particularly interested in Latinx family access, collaboration, and advocacy within the special education system. Much of Lizeth’s research interests derive from her previous teaching experiences and advocating for her students, family members who went through or are currently in the special education system, and volunteering for community-based programs that focus on linguistic and cultural revitalization.


Elena Quiroz-Livanis

Elena Quiroz-Livanis
(she/her/ella)
Assistant Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

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Elena Quiroz-Livanis joined the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in 2013 and serves the agency as an assistant commissioner. As a member of the Office of Policy, she oversees efforts around Board and Trustee Relations. Quiroz-Livanis is one of the primary architects of the Equity Agenda and facilitated the development of the system’s 10-year strategic plan for racial equity. She also co-created a seamless system of transfer and transform developmental education. Quiroz-Livanis is a doctoral candidate in the Higher Education program at UMass Boston and a Research Associate at the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy.


Lauren Mena Shook

Lauren Mena Shook
(she/her/hers)
PhD Candidate, University of Texas at Austin

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Lauren Shook is a PhD candidate in Education Policy and Planning at the University of Texas Austin. Her research interests focus on how racial inequality is constructed through discourse in the policymaking process. Her research in this area includes studies of Congressional hearings on funding for Hispanic Serving Institutions, state-level anti-CRT and anti-DEI legislation, and the role of racialized language in media coverage of student loans. She hopes to contribute to scholarship, teaching, and service which makes more just US education systems a reality.


Paris D. Wicker

Paris D. Wicker, PhD, NCC
(she/her/hers)
Assistant Professor of Higher Education, State University of New York at Buffalo

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Paris Wicker is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the University at Buffalo. Her research, informed by a decade of higher education experience in student affairs and college admissions, contributes to scholarship that explores the conditions and consequences of health, success well-being in higher education, especially for Black and Indigenous students, faculty, and staff. Her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Wisconsin Center for Educational Research (WCER), and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She earn her PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.


Mentoring Roundtables

Rebecca Natow

Rebecca Natow, EdD, JD
(she/her)
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, Hofstra University

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Rebecca S. Natow is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at Hofstra University, where she is also the director of the Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies Program. Dr. Natow is an expert on the federal government's role in higher education. Her book, "Reexamining the Federal Role in Higher Education: Politics and Policymaking in the Postsecondary Sector" (Teachers College Press in 2022), received the Critics’ Choice Book Award from the American Educational Studies Association. Her research has also been published in numerous scholarly journals, including the Review of Higher Education, Educational Policy, and Education Policy Analysis Archives.


Chris Marsicano

Chris Marsicano, PhD
(he/him/his)
Assistant Professor of Educational Studies and Public Policy; Director of the College Crisis Initiative (C2i)

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Dr. Christopher R. Marsicano is an Assistant Professor of Educational Studies and Public Policy and the Founding Director of the College Crisis Initiative (C2i) at Davidson College, his undergraduate alma mater. A national expert on university responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marsicano researches how higher education institutions innovate in times of crisis. He has published in peer-reviewed academic journals including Research in Higher Education, Educational Researcher, and the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Media outlets including CNN and The New York Times have profiled his work. He earned his PhD from Vanderbilt University and his MPP from Duke University.


Policy Roundtables

Jonathan Turk

Jonathan Turk, PhD
(he/him/his)
Assistant Professor of Higher Education, Saint Louis University

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Jonathan M. Turk is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Saint Louis University (SLU). His research and teaching focus predominantly on community college student persistence and success, higher education finance and policy, and research methods. Prior to joining SLU, Dr. Turk was the Director of Research at the American Council on Education (ACE) in Washington, DC. Dr. Turk earned his PhD from the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Iowa State University.


Ángel de Jesus González,

Ángel de Jesus González, EdD
(he/they/elle)
Assistant Professor, Fresno State University

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Dr. González is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration and Leadership (HEAL) at Fresno State University. As a first-generation queer, Latinx, joto, they engage their scholarship through post-structuralist and transformative paradigms rooted in Xicana/Latina feminists epistemologies. Dr. González’s research agenda focuses on three strands; 1) examining the conditions, experiences, and outcomes for queer and/or trans communities; 2) Latinx Leadership and organizational change; and 3) racial equity policy implementation all within the community college context.


Recent Graduates and Seminar Alumni Connections

Rogelio Salazar

Rogelio Salazar, MA, MEd
(he/him)
Doctoral Candidate, University of California - Los Angeles

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Rogelio Salazar, is a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Higher Education & Organizational Change program at UCLA. His scholarship is informed by experiencing the effects of the school-to-prison pipeline, coupled with his experience in North County San Diego's public schools, Ed Trust-West, PPIC, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges system. Rogelio’s research entails 3 strands: 1) interrogating dual enrollment and state-level promise programs; 2) exploring conditions & policy outcomes for racially minoritized students in community colleges and 3) scrutinizing the funding and implementation of restorative justice in California public schools & abolishing policing in schools.


Samuel Snideman

Samuel Snideman, EdD
(he/him/his)
Vice President of Government Relations, United Way of Central Indiana

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Sam Snideman serves as Vice President of Government Relations for United Way of Central Indiana, where he leads advocacy and public policy work to reduce poverty and improve economic mobility for Hoosiers in the Central Indiana region. Prior to coming to United Way, Sam worked in a variety of policy and advocacy roles in government and higher education. Sam is also a fellow at the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University. Sam earned his EdD (higher education) from Ball State University, MA (political science) from Texas A&M University, and his BS (political science) from Indiana State University.


CPPHE Engagement and Closing Remarks

Eric Felix

Eric Felix, PhD, Event Chair
(he/him/his)
Associate Professor, San Diego State University

+ View Biography

Dr. Eric R. Felix is a CSU Profe that leads the CCHALES Research Collective at SDSU focused on advancing scholarship and practice that creates more just and equitable institutions for communities of color.


Meredith Billings

Meredith Billings, PhD
(she/her/hers)
Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Arlington

+ View Biography

Dr. Meredith S. Billings is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her overall research agenda focuses on financial and informational barriers to college for low-income, first-generation, and racially minoritized students and inequities in higher education funding across different types of higher education institutions. She is currently conducting or has conducted research projects on free college/promise programs, guaranteed tuition/fixed tuition plans, college access programs, higher education funding decisions, and financial aid advising in public high schools. Her work has been supported by the Spencer and Kresge Foundations.


Kevin McClure

Kevin McClure, PhD
(he/him/his)
Associate Professor, University of North Carolina Wilmington

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Kevin R. McClure is the Murphy Distinguished Scholar and Associate Professor of Higher Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He also serves as the Director of Public Engagement at the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges.



Event Chair

Eric R. Felix
Associate Professor, San Diego State University
efelix@sdsu.edu

Please feel free to reach out to the event chair with questions about the content of the Graduate Student Policy Seminar. Questions about registration or event logistics can be directed to the ASHE Staff at (202) 660-4106 or office@ashe.ws.


Registration

  • $35 for ASHE members, $65 for non-members
  • If the cost of attendance is a barrier to participation, please reach out to event chair, Eric Felix at efelix@sdsu.edu
  • Registration Close and Payment Deadline: Wednesday, March 20 Noon Central/Minneapolis Time. Note: A late registration fee of $10 will be added beginning on Thursday, March 14 at noon Central.
  • We strongly encourage students' academic programs to cover the registration fee for this event as has been tradition for students attending the Graduate Student Policy Seminar. If additional documentation is needed, please contact ASHE Assistant Director for Conference and Events Alicia Castillo Shrestha at alicia@ashe.ws.
  • All ASHE Professional Development events encourage participants to engage throughout the event in various ways. To provide an environment that is conducive to learning and engagement and to provide a safe space (to the extent possible), Professional Development events are not recorded.
  • Learn more about accessibility for this event at ashe.ws/accessibility_prodevevents.
  • During registration, participants will agree to the ASHE Virtual Events Code of Conduct, provide information about accommodation requests, and answer a couple event-related questions:
    1. We are interested in creating a mentoring breakout session for like-topics, can you share what policy-related topics you are currently or planning to study?
    2. What are you interested in learning more about at the Graduate Student Policy Seminar?