Research Assistants

Samantha Astudillo
Research Assistant
Samantha Astudillo is a doctoral student in Urban Education Policy at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. Her research interests include college persistence and completion for low-income, first-generation students. Read more.
Arely Acuña Avilez
Research Assistant
Arely Acuña Avilez is a doctoral student advised by Dr. Adrianna Kezar. Arely earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine, and her master’s degree from UCLA. Her research interests include student civic engagement...Read more.
Edward Chi
Research Assistant
Edward Chi is an Urban Education Policy Ph.D. student at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. He is assisting Tatiana Melguizo, his advisor, in understanding the paths taken by community college students before and after enrollment. Read more.
Thomas DePaola
Research Assistant
Thomas DePaola earned his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from SUNY Purchase. He is a third-year Ph.D. student working with Dr. Adrianna Kezar whose research interests include postsecondary labor segmentation and unionization, university-driven urban development, and higher education's evolving role in social and cultural reproduction. Read more.
Jude Paul Matias Dizon
Research Assistant
He studied international development and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and holds a Master of Education degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont. Read More.
Theresa E. Hernandez
Research Assistant
Theresa E. Hernandez is interested in understanding how institutions of higher education can better support students from minoritized and marginalized communities such as first generation students of color from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Read more.
Elizabeth Holcombe
Research Assistant
Elizabeth Holcombe graduated from Vanderbilt University with a double major in Political Science and Spanish in 2008. After teaching elementary school in Atlanta with Teach for America, she moved to NYC to pursue a Master's degree in Politics and Education at Teachers College. Read more.
Liane Hypolite
Research Assistant
Liane Hypolite is a doctoral student at USC’s Rossier School of Education studying Urban Education Policy with a focus in Higher Education, conducting research with Dr. Darnell Cole. Before attending USC, she served as the Dean of College and Career Advising at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, MA. Read more.
Suneal Kolluri
Research Assistant
Suneal Kolluri earned his bachelor’s degree from UCLA, and his master’s from Stanford. His research interests include college access and persistence for low-income youth and underrepresented youth of color. Read more.
Elizabeth Park
Research Assistant
Elizabeth Park is a Ph.D. candidate focusing on higher education policy at USC. She is interested in educational issues related to immigrant students, community colleges, and post-secondary outcomes of low-income students. Read more.
Daniel Scott
Research Assistant
Daniel Scott's research agenda is grounded in a fundamental commitment to higher education’s role in promoting intersectional equity and democracy. His research interests include change, work in academia, student experiences and learning, and students who are or formerly were incarcerated. Read More.
Deborah E. Southern
Research Assistant
Deborah E. Southern is interested in privilege and white student engagement with campus racial climate, and greatly enjoys qualitative research methods. Deborah hopes to shift social equity work from a concern of marginalized groups to a concern that is also shared by privileged groups...Read More.
Antar A. Tichavakunda
Research Assistant
Antar A. Tichavakunda is a Dean’s Fellow in the Urban Education Policy program at the Rossier School of Education and research analyst for the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California. He was born and raised in Washington, DC...Read more.
David Velasquez
Research Assistant
David Velasquez is a doctoral student in Urban Education Policy program at the USC Rosier School of Education where he works with Dr. Tatiana Melguizo. His research interests include college access, persistence, completion...Read more.
James Ward
Research Assistant
James Ward is a PhD candidate at USC Rossier. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and History from Cornell University. James spent five years in Washington, DC and Boston working as an education consultant for Hanover Research and ASR Analytics...Read more.
Marissiko Wheaton
Research Assistant
Marissiko Wheaton was born and raised in Los Angeles. She attended Santa Monica College and transferred to the University of California, Irvine where she earned her B.A. in Social Ecology. She then obtained her masters degree in Higher Education/Student Personnel Administration from New York University. Read more.