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Higher Education Graduate Fellow

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

School: University of California, Los Angeles

Degree: Ph.D. Candidate, Higher Education and Organizational Change

Placement: U.S. Department of Education, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

Originally from Oxnard, CA., Miguel Lopez earned his bachelor’s degree in 2004 at UC Santa Barbara. He culminated his college career elected by his peers as student body President–serving as the official UCSB student representative for local, state and federal matters, and exercising his organization and managerial skills.

In 2005, Lopez moved to Los Angeles to pursue his graduate studies at UCLA where he is completing his Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change. He has served as a teaching assistant in the Graduate School of Education as well as the Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana/o Studies. His research focus is educational access and equity, individual and interpersonal processes, and organizational behavior. His most recent work has centered on diversity, campus climate, and the experience of underrepresented students and faculty of color at American colleges and universities. At UCLA, Lopez served as President of the Graduate School of Education Student Association, vice chair of the Student Fee Advisory Committee, member of the Education Executive Committee, the Executive Committee of the UC Council on Student Fees, and elected External Vice President of the Graduate Students Association representing over 11,500 graduate and professional students at UCLA.

Miguel has a long history of advocacy and leadership. He continues to work to raise awareness on educational access, equity, affordability, persistence, and degree completion working on these areas with University leadership, local and state elected representatives, and on Capitol Hill. He has been recognized for his efforts and has received several awards and recognitions including the UCLA Academic Senate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Honorable Mention Award; Graduate Student and Undergraduate of the Year, respectively, from his fraternity Nu Alpha Kappa Fraternity, Inc; University Campus and Community Service Award; Dean of Students Distinguished Achievement Award; and, Award for Research and Creative Studies.