Research Assistants

Cynthia M. Alcantar

Cynthia M. Alcantar

Cynthia Maribel Alcantar is a Doctoral Candidate in Social Science and Comparative Education and Research Associate for the Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Additionally, she currently serves as a Visiting Professor of Sociology at Pitzer College. Her research broadly focuses on issues of college access and degree attainment for underrepresented student populations. Cynthia’s research interests stem from her experiences as daughter of Mexican immigrants and growing up in the City of Riverside. Prior to joining UCLA, Cynthia earned her master’s degree in Higher Education from Claremont Graduate University (CGU) and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from the University of California, Riverside (UCR). She also worked as a Coordinator and Interim Director of Upward Bound at Norco Community College and as a Graduate Advisor and Faculty for the McNair Scholars Program at CGU.

Monique Corral

Monique Corral

Monique Corral is a research assistant for the Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education and doctoral student in the Human Development and Psychology program at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include high school dropout and the academic and development of students, particularly those who pursue adult education. She received her Master of Science from California State University, Northridge and Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ramon Flores

Ramon Flores

Ramon Flores is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Psychology program at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. His research interests include risk and resilience factors within the acculturation process that impact the academic and psychological well-being of adolescent and young adult Latinos/as.

Yuliana Garcia

Yuliana Garcia

Yuliana Garcia is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Psychology program at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Her research interests include risk and resilience factors that influence educational attainment for minority youth and the experiences and psychological outcomes for undocumented youth.

‘Inoke Hafoka

‘Inoke Hafoka

‘Inoke Hafoka is a doctoral student in Social Science and Comparative Education (SSCE) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) within the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies (GSE&IS). His research aims to understand the issues and experiences of students of color, specifically Pacific Islanders, in education to better implement policy and educational practices that give them support within the educational system. ’Inoke earned a Master of Education in Education, Culture & Society (ECS) from The University of Utah and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Brigham Young University.

Edwin Hernandez

Edwin Hernandez

Edwin Hernandez is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Social Science and Comparative Education program and a Research Associate for the Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education (IGE) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His research interests include issues around access and equity for underrepresented and underserved students. Prior to UCLA, Edwin worked as a bilingual school counselor and mentor through community-based organizations in New York and California. Edwin received his M.A. in Bilingual School Counseling from New York University and his B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Northridge.

Victoria Kim

Victoria Kim is a doctoral student in Social Sciences and Comparative Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include examining educational practices and programs from early childhood to postsecondary education that support bilingual, immigrant, minority, and English language learning students with a focus on Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Victoria received her Ed.M. in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University, M.A. in Education and B.A. in Psychology from University of California, Davis.

Annie Le

Annie Le

Annie is a doctoral student in the Social Science and Comparative Education (SSCE) Division at UCLA‘s Graduate School of Education, specializing in race and ethnic studies. Her research focuses on historically underrepresented students as well as racial and social inequities within an educational context. She studies these issues in correctional facilities, high schools, higher education, and urban communities. Annie received her Master’s in Higher Education from NYU and Bachelor of Arts in Feminist Studies from UC Santa Cruz.

Guadalupe Lopez

Guadalupe Lopez

Guadalupe Lopez is a doctoral student in Human Development and Psychology (HDP) at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Guadalupes’ research interests aim to understand the role immigration has on identity development, acculturation, and the psychological adjustment among undocumented youth and emerging adults. Guadalupe is a first-generation college student. She immigrated to the U.S at the age of six from Mexico. She received her B.A from Northern Illinois University.

Minas Michikyan

Minas Michikyan

Minas Michikyan, M.A., has joined the Ph.D. program in Human Development and Psychology at UCLA. He is a researcher at the Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education (UCLA), at the Children‘s Digital Media Center @ LA, (UCLA/CSULA), and at the Center for Multicultural Research (CSULA). Minas’ research interests encompass the role of new digital media in youth self-presentation and psychosocial development and well-being in the context of culture, social change, and the immigrant experience.

Mike Hoa Nguyen

Mike Hoa Nguyen

Mike Hoa Nguyen is a doctoral student in the Division of Higher Education and Organizational Change at UCLA’s School of Education. His research interests include Minority Serving Institutions, campus diversity, and federal/state policy. Prior to UCLA, Mike served as the Deputy District Director to U.S. Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17). He received his B.A. from UC Berkeley.

Bach-Mai Dolly Nguyen

Bach-Mai Dolly Nguyen

Bach-Mai Dolly Nguyen is a research associate for the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE) and PhD Candidate in Social Science and Comparative Education (SSCE) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her research aims to improve educational outcomes of underrepresented students of color, with a particular focus on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, through research on educational practice and policy impacting those student populations. Dolly received her Masters in Education from UCLA and her Bachelors of Arts from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Alfredo Novoa

Alfredo Novoa

Alfredo Novoa is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Psychology program at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. He is interested in understanding the ecological factors that shape the sociocultural experiences and academic development of immigrant-origin youth. His other interests include applying translational science within academic contexts. Alfredo received his Bachelors of Science in Applied Psychology from New York University.

Dr. Olivia Osei-Twumasi

Dr. Olivia Osei-Twumasi

Dr. Olivia Osei-Twumasi is the Lead Data Analyst / Statistician at the Institute for Immigration, Globalization and Education. She completed her doctorate in Economics and Quantitative Methods at the University of Westminster, UK. Her research interests include access to education and the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education.

Audrey Paredes

Audrey Paredes

Audrey Paredes is a doctoral student in the Social Science and Comparative Education Division (race and ethnic studies specialization) in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA. As the daughter of immigrants and a first-generation student in the U.S. educational pipeline, her research aims to examine the experiences of first-generation students of color in higher education. With a specific focus on first and second-generation Central American students, Audrey hopes to impact policy and practice to transform and improve educational experiences and outcomes. Prior to entering the doctoral program, Audrey received her M.A in Education from UCLA and B.A from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in Gender, Ethnicity, and Multicultural Studies.

Ingrid Villanueva

Ingrid Villanueva

Administrative Specialist

Ingrid Villanueva graduated from UCLA in 2010 with a BA in International Development Studies and another in Study of Religion. She was born and raised in Los Angeles by her single mother and is the youngest of nine kids, four who were born in her native country of El Salvador. The daughter of immigrants and the first in her family to go to college, Ingrid is very excited to work for IGE. She hopes to learn more about the complex issues that arise for immigrants and first generation students entering higher education for the first time.

Sharareh (Sheila) Zerang

Sharareh (Sheila) Zerang

Administrative Assistant

Sharareh Zerang is a pre-law student at UCLA studying Sociology and Iranian Studies. Being an immigrant herself who arrived in the United States at the age of 10, she is interested in pursuing a J.D. degree in immigration law. She believes interacting with IGE research students and professors can help her understand better the forces behind educational gaps and how the lives of individuals are changed by the process of immigration.

Juliana Karras-Jean Gilles

Juliana Karras-Jean Gilles

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Juliana Karras-Jean Gilles is leading the Making the Invisible Visible: Systematically Examining Classroom Bias with MET Data study. She studied Developmental Psychology at the Graduate Center City University of New York, and received her M.A. in Human Development and Social Intervention at NYU Steinhardt. Her multi-method work straddles both developmental and social research areas by focusing on the social development of children and adolescents in context. Throughout her research, she employs a structural lens to generate knowledge that can be used to challenge social systems which reproduce inequality. Her doctoral research examined the intersection of inequality and civic development across multiple ecological contexts (home, neighborhood, school) with Black American and Black immigrant families in the U.S. Currently, she is collaborating on an international program of human rights research that examines conceptions of children’s rights and inequality in developing contexts (West Indies, South Africa). The goal of her work is to support researchers, practitioners, and policymakers invested in applying empirical knowledge to rectify inequities that adversely impact marginalized communities.