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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Vasquez Named Outstanding Latino Faculty by National Organization

Marissa Vasquez
The award honors a person who has provided “outstanding service” working with students and/or has delivered “excellent instruction in a teaching-oriented institution.”

Dr. Marissa Vasquez has done exactly done and her service and dedication to serving students pursuing a college degree has earned her the Outstanding Latino/a Faculty: Service/Teaching in Higher Education Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education. She will receive the award in March 2018 at the organization’s national conference.

“I felt incredibly humbled to receive this award, particularly when I learned that I was nominated by 12 individuals including my colleagues, current students, and former students,” said Vasquez, assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education.

Vasquez, who has been teaching at San Diego State University since 2014, said she decided to join SDSU because she wanted to contribute to the institution and her community.

“As an alumna of the Ed.D. Program at SDSU, I wanted to give back to the department, the program, and the faculty that supported me academically, personally, and professionally,” Vazquez said. “As a native of San Diego, and as someone who was raised to honor public service, I’ve remained committed to supporting the Latino community through my teaching, research and service.”

In addition to her contributions as a scholar and faculty member, Vasquez dedicates much of her time to the Latino community in San Diego. She serves on the scholarship committee for MANA de San Diego, a local non-profit organization that empowers and supports Latinas through education. MANA is short for “hermanas,” a Spanish word for sisters.

She has also served as a mentor for the PUENTE Project at Southwestern College, a national program that has improved the college-going rate of tens of thousands of California students and that she was a part of when Vasquez was a community college student. As a University of California Berkeley alumna, she helped found and co-chair that school’s Chicana/Latino Alumni Association in San Diego, a non-profit organization that supports local high school and community college Latino students.

Vasquez recognizes that progress has been made in the number of Latino students attending college, but believes more work needs to be done.

“While recent data have illustrated an increase in college-going rates among Latino students, particularly in California, we continue to see disproportionate outcomes in degree attainment in comparison to other racial/ethnic peers,” Vasquez said. “As the Latino population continues to grow, both nationally and statewide, it is critical that we work to understand institutional policies and practices that may be inhibiting degree outcomes for these students.”