Dr. Maria L. Espino recently earned her Ph.D. in the Higher Administration Program at Iowa State University, where her dissertation explored how Latin* first-generation, low-income, early college high school graduates are transitioning to bachelor’s degree-granting institutions. She earned her M.Ed. in Educational Policy and Leadership from Marquette University in her hometown of Milwaukee, WI, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in Community and Nonprofit Leadership and Gender and Women Studies. At CTS, Maria supports the Foster Youth and Community Schools projects. Maria’s research scope explores and centers on the (in)equities in higher education, particularly focusing on the experiences of marginalized students. Maria believes that research must center, humanize, empower, and support the communities in which we serve through both practice and policy reform.