School of Education
October 1, 2009
Goals Include Promoting College Access and Awareness
Karina M. Cuamea is a first-generation college Latina. She received a B.A. in Chicana/o Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a M.Ed. in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Arizona State University. As an undergraduate student she worked with P-16 students in outreach programs such as the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP), Upward Bound, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), and Engaging Latino Communities for Education (ENLACE). Within these programs she served as a tutor and mentor for first-generation and low-income students. She also conducted college access workshops to Spanish-speaking and English-speaking parents and helped develop personalized study skills programs for families.
As a graduate student at ASU, Karina was the program coordinator for Students Providing Awareness, Resources and Knowledge to Start college (SPARKS). This opportunity allowed her to once again connect with students and their parents in order to provide college access and awareness. While at Arizona State University she also worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. Alfredo G. de los Santos and co-authored an article on the challenges and issues facing Hispanic-serving institutions of higher education, as perceived by the presidents of those institutions. This article has been accepted for publication.
Karina grew up in Oxnard, California where her mother was a migrant farm worker and her father a construction worker. She attributes her educational motivation to her hardworking parents who have always stressed the importance of an education and to her undergraduate and graduate mentors who have guided her in a path towards higher education.
She is currently a doctoral student at the University of California, Irvine in the Department of Education with a specialization in Educational Policy and Social Context. Her research interests include diversity and equity in education, ethnic and class relations, and educational access. Karina was among the recipients of the 2009 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) Graduate Student Fellows.
Pursuing and achieving a doctoral degree is greatly important to her, and she hopes to follow in the footsteps of the many Latino scholars who have paved the way towards success in education. Her professional goal is to become a university professor and continue her commitment to students. She is passionate about teaching and learning and most importantly making a positive impact among low-income and underrepresented communities.