Past Scholarship Recipients
Dr. Melissa Abeyta
Melissa E. Abeyta, Ed.D. is a higher education researcher. Her research focus revolves around using an anti-deficit lens that explores the experiences of formerly incarcerated students in higher education aimed to identify how administrators, faculty, and practitioners can academically and socially prepare these students in postsecondary education. Her research and assessment projects have included institutional needs assessments for disproportionately impacted students in community colleges. Dr. Abeyta was awarded the Ron Jacobs Outstanding Research Award for her dissertation, A Phenomenological Study of Formerly Incarcerated Latino Men in California Community Colleges. Her research has been recognized as a model of transformation and change. Dr. Abeyta is committed to serving traditionally underrepresented students in higher education through research and policy. She also serves as the inaugural chair for the NASPA Formerly Incarcerated Students & System Impacted Families Knowledge Community.
Dr. Abeyta is a 3x San Diego State University alumnae earning an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, a M.A. in Postsecondary Educational Leadership specializing in Student Affairs, and B.A. in Communication and Chicana/o Studies. She is also a first generation transfer student who earned her A.A. degree from Southwestern College.
Dissertation Title: A Phenomenological Study of Formerly Incarcerated Latino Men in California Community Colleges
Dissertation Description: This study explored the disparities that formerly incarcerated Latino male students encounter while attempting to achieve positive educational outcomes in community college, and to advocate for policies, programs, services that support students in successfully navigating the higher education pipeline.