Student Profile

Vanessa Segundo

PhD Student - Language, Literacy and Culture


Ph.D. Education Expected: June 2020 
Emphasis Area: Language, Literacy, and Culture 
University of California Davis, Davis, CA 

M.S.Ed. Adult and Higher Education Conferred May 2013 
Emphasis: Student Affairs 
Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 

B.A. Political Science Conferred May 2009 
Minor: History 
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 

Research Experience

Graduate Student Researcher October 2018-Present
Transformative Justice Center in Education Center
University of California Davis, Davis, CA 

Focus: Details forthcoming

Legislative Analyst and Researcher August 2018-Present

California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and the Feminist Research Institute
University of California Davis, Davis, CA 

Focus: Responsible for organizing, researching, and executing CCSWG Public Policy Agenda in coordination with the Policy Director

  • Create an inventory of California legislation law pertaining to: economic well-being, business, politics, media, health, and safety
  • Collaborate with state-wide partners in the development of the eighth annual “Report on the Status if Women and Girls in California”
  • Generate a report that synthesizes California legislative history and progress pertaining to gender equity 

Project Lead April 2015-December 2017
Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity
University of California Davis, Davis, CA 

Focus: streamline collaboration, processes, and marketing for the UC Davis-Mexico Initiative 

  • Assisted with the development and coordination of a binational conference on the status of indigenous Mexican students in April 2016 as part of the University of California Office of the President Mexico Initiatives.
  • Coordinated the UC-system wide webinar series, “Study Abroad: Demystifying Advance Parole.”

Graduate Student Researcher June 2016-June 2017
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Office of Graduate Studies
University of California Davis, Davis, CA 

Focus: Examine graduate admissions review practices and gatekeeping functions

  • Advance the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation project, Transforming Graduate Admissions, by conducting literature reviews
  • Assist with survey development and implementation
  • Coordinate the three collaborating institutions, UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Riverside; plan UC Davis’s working committee meetings
  • Develop the draft of the final project

Principal Investigator January 2015-April 2017
School of Education 
University of California Davis, Davis, CA 

Focus: Latino student persistence/retention and co-curricular involvement 

  • Devise and implement an original research design; a comparative study across two states (west coast and mid-west region), with a focus on Latino undergraduate student retention, undocumented transfer populations, and student affairs professionals
  • Conduct semi-structured interviews both in person and in video-chat platforms; currently completed 30 student and 30 staff interviews 

Graduate Research Assistant September 2014-June 2015
AB540 and Undocumented Student Center 
University of California Davis, Davis, CA 

Focus: Community outreach and development of professional learning 

  • Coordinate and co-facilitate the UndocuAlly Program for Educators and the e-allyship component; two professional learning models for faculty, staff, and graduate students regarding serving undocumented students on campus 
  • Develop assessment tools to collect data regarding undocumented student populations on campus, measure the attainment of benchmarks, and impact of training initiatives 

Research Assistant August 2012-January 2014 
Great Journeys Latino Student Success Steering Committee, 
Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 

Focus: Outreach and recruitment strategies targeting underrepresented students 

  • Assisted with the development of online assessment tools; met stakeholders to discuss inclusion and exclusion criteria for new trials
  • Developed university wide outreach and recruitment plans specific to community needs, parental engagement, and youth development; assisted with the implementation of these initiatives 

Research Assistant November 2011-May 2013 
Latino Parent University, Center for Interdisciplinary Study 
of Language and Literacy, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 

Focus: Socio-cultural capital development for Spanish speaking parents; college access 

  • Secured a $2,000 grant from the Center from Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy at Northern Illinois University, to develop and implement Latino Parent University, a curriculum based workshop series, with a focus on cultural and linguistic competency 
  • Provided data results regarding the effectiveness of language, sociological, and cultural based strategies, that was used as supporting evidence for national funding grants and served as recommendations for student recruitment and enrollment policies at Northern Illinois University 

Research Assistant August 2012-December 2012 
Latino Resource Center, 
Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 

Focus: Assessment of academic policies and student services for undocumented students 

  • Conducted assessment and interviews with administrators, faculty, staff, and students in order to identify services, opportunities, and challenges undocumented students experienced at the institutional level; included review of print and online marketing materials, departmental requirements, and professional development opportunities for faculty and staff 
  • Developed analysis and recommendations, for use in the development of the second edition, “How to Effectively Work with Undocumented Students,” an institutional training resource guide; essential components included student development, adult learning theories, and educational policy 

Research Assistant August 2011-December 2011 
Counseling and Adult and Higher Education, 
Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 

Focus: Undocumented Student Development Theory 

  • Conducted telephone and online interviews with undocumented college aged students from five distinct post-secondary institutions; utilizing Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 
  • Identified issues of cognitive and psychosocial dimensions and issues of cultural dissonance; data was presented to university committees and served as guidelines for review of departmental policies and interventions when working with undocumented students 

Research Interests

  • Humanizing Research Methodologies
  • Mindset as Cognitive Justice
  • Retention of Minoritized Undergraduate Students
  • Racial Inequities in Higher Education
  • Undocumented Student and Mixed Status Families
  • Student Affairs Professionals

Teaching Experience

Associate Instructor, School of Education, University of California, Davis, June 2017-August 2017; June 2018-August 2018 Course: EDU 130: Issues in Higher Education

Lead Teaching Assistant, The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Davis, January 2018-June 2018, Course: CHI 50: Chicanx Culture

Teaching Assistant, School of Education, University of California, Davis, July 2016-September 2016, Course: EDU 122: Children, Learning, and the Material Culture

Teaching Assistant, University Writing Program, University of California, Davis, September 2015-Present, Course: UWP 11: Rhetoric of Popular Science 

Instructor, Department of First Year Connections, Northern Illinois University, August 2012-January 2014, Course: University 101: The College Experience 

Instructor, Latino Resource Center, Northern Illinois University, August 2011-May 2012, Program: Latino Parent University 

Instructional Assistant, College of Lake County, August 2009 -May 2010, Program: Educational Talent Search 


Leaders for the Future, Graduate Studies, University of California, Davis, December 2017

Graduate Representative, UC Research Advocacy Day, University of California, Davis, April 2017

Graduate Fellow, American Association for Hispanics in Higher Education, November 2016

Benita Martinez Awardee, Chicana/Latina Foundation, San Francisco, California, August 2016

Academic Distinction Award, School of Education, University of California, Davis, June 2016

Visiting Scholar, Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services Program, University of Illinois at Chicago, April 2015

University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States Small Grants Award,University of California System, April 2015 

Provost’s Prize for Best Student Organized Session, 2015 Interdisciplinary Graduate and Professional Symposium, University of California, Davis, April 2015 

Honorable Mention, Ford Foundation Fellowship Predoctoral Program 2015, National Academy of Sciences, March 2015 

Graduate Group in Education First-Year Fellowship, School of Education, University of California Davis, 2014-present 

Diversifying Faculty in Illinois Fellow, Illinois Board of Higher Education, 2012-2013 

Lundsford Fellowship, The Graduate School, Northern Illinois University, 2012-2013 

Proposal or Pilot Grant Award, Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy, Northern Illinois University, 2012- 2013 

Graduate Assistantship, Latino Resource Center, Northern Illinois University, 2011-2012 

Staff Member of the Year, East Aurora High School, District 131 Illinois, 2011 

Selected Presentations & Publications

Ramirez, C., & Segundo, V. (Paper). (2018, Nov.). But Is It Woke?: Scholars of Color Examine if Their Research Methodologies Humanize Latinx Students. Association of the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference.

Talamante, O., Beltran Giron, J., Segundo, V., Arias, E. (Panel). (2017, July). The Power of Telling Your Story: Academic Success. Mujers Activas en Letras y Cambio Social Summer Institute.

Segundo, V. (Paper). (2017, March). Chingona Mindset: Understanding how Chicana/Mexicana Students Frame their Undergraduate Experiences. American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Annual Conference.

Cuellar, M., Segundo, V. & Muñoz, Y. (Paper) (2017, Dec.). Assessing the Impact of Hispanic Serving Institutions: A Culturally Relevant Inputs-Environments- Outcomes Framework. Association of Mexican American Educators Journal Special Issue.

Segundo, V. (2016, March). ¡Yo Soy Xingona!: Acts of Resistance and Power in the Lives of Undergraduate Latinas. Paper presented at the 2016 American College Personnel Association Annual Conference. 

Segundo, V. (2016, March).¡Yo Soy Xingona!: Acts of Resistance and Power in the Lives of Undergraduate Latinas. Paper presented at the 2016 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Annual Conference. 

Segundo, V. & Garcia, R. (2016, March). ¡Yo Soy Xingona! Leveraging Undocumented Student Assets. 2016 American Association for Hispanics in Higher Education Annual Conference. 

de la Torre, A., Prieto, E., & Segundo, V. (2016, March). Campus Collaboration towards Enhancing the Undergraduate Student Experience. 2016 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Annual Conference. 

Gaytan, A., Segundo, V., Tang, M. (2015, May). UndocuAlly Program for Educators. National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Education. 

Segundo, V. (2014, 2013, 2012, June). Effectively Assisting Undocumented Students, Project Dreams Academy, Northern Illinois University 

Segundo, V. (2013, June). Latino Parent University: Educational Empowerment of Latino Families, Illinois Education Research Symposium, Illinois Education Research Council 

Segundo, V. (2012, Sep.). Latino Parent University: Assessing Socio-Cultural and Linguistic Strategies when Working with Spanish Speaking Families, Midwest First Year Conference 

Cohen, J. & Segundo, V. (Paper) (2011, Dec.). Undocumented Immigrants: What you should know. Thirty-Fifth Annual Statewide Conference for Teachers of Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students, Oakbrook, IL. 

Prieto, E. & Segundo, V. (Manual) (2011, Oct.). Northern Illinois University Faculty and Staff Resource Guide: How to Assist Undocumented Students on Campus. First Edition. Publication. Northern Illinois University 

Selected University Service

Member, Chicana/o and Latina/o Retention Advisory Committee, University of California, Davis, Jan. 2016-June 2018

Member, Affirmative Action and Diversity, Academic Senate, University of California, Davis, August 2015-June 2016

Member, Interdisciplinary Graduate and Professional Symposium, University of California, Davis, August 2015-April 2016

Moderator, Sustained Dialogue, Office of Dialogue and Deliberation, University of California, Davis September 2014-June 2016 

Member, Chancellor’s Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board, University of California, Davis, September 2014- June 2015 

Member, Grant Planning Committee, Student Support Services, Waubonsee Community College, January 2014-August 2014 

Member, Latino Resource Center Advisory Board, Latino Resource Center, Northern Illinois University, September 2012- January 2014 

Chair, Social Justice Conference Committee, Northern Illinois University, June 2013- September 2013 


At-Risk: Suicide Prevention, Veterans on Campus: Military Cultural Competency, and LGBTQ on Campus: Build a Supportive Community, Kognito Campus Training, Illinois Department of Public Health, July 2014 

Appreciative Advising- The 6 Phases that Lead to Student Success, Counseling Department, Waubonsee Community College, March 2014 

Teaching Effectiveness Institute: Fundamental Principles of Effective Instruction, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, Northern Illinois University, August 2013 

Summer Dissertation Boot Camp, The Writing Center, Northern Illinois University, June 2013- August 2013 

Institute for Effective Teaching of First Year Students, Office of First Year Experience, Northern Illinois University, June 2012 and June 2013 

Developing an Effective Syllabus, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, Northern Illinois University, August 2012 

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Ally Training, LGBTQA Resource Center, Northern Illinois University, April 2011 

New Americans Initiative, Family Focus-Aurora, Illinois, September 2012 
Franklin Covey Facilitator: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Presentation Advantage, Writing Advantage, 2009-2011 

College Academy 101 and 102, Elmhurst College, July 2009 and July 2010 

College Counseling: Multicultural Strategies and Interventions, Counseling Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, June 2009 and June 2010 

Professional Experience

Success Coach January 2018-June 2018 Student Academic Success Center, University of California, Davis

  • Applied a strengths-based approach to support students through an exploration of the habits, priorities, values, and challenges that may be impacting their college experience.
  • Coordinated a caseload of 20-30 undergraduate students; conducted weekly one on one coaching sessions and develop quarterly action plans.
  • Served as a liaison to campus resources, units, and organizations; matched students to these resources and helped them navigate all relevant services.


  • Assisted students in identifying and leveraging their assets and knowledge in ways that positively influenced their goals and aspirations as indicated by student feedback and evaluation data
  • Sustained long-term interaction with students, demonstrating a 90% return rate, and consistent management of caseload

Academic Advisor January 2014-August 2014 TRIO/Student Support Services, Waubonsee Community College 

  • Afforded academic advising services to 85+ new and 200 continuing students 
  • Co-coordinated transfer advising and planning; researched university degrees, program requirements, developed timelines and transfer plans, review course equivalencies 
  • Acted as a liaison between probation students, faculty, Learning Enhancement, and tutoring 
  • Provide information on the full range of federal financial aid programs and assist students/families in completing financial aid process, including financial aid at transfer institutions and financial literacy 
  • Remained current on specific academic disciplines, college catalogs, and related materials 


  • Implemented Cash Course, a financial literacy program/tool, during one on one advising sessions for 200 students 
  • Assisted in the recruitment of 85 new students for the 2014-2015 cohort and the retention of 165 students in the current 2013-2014 academic year 
  • Co-developed the “College Visit Week Campaign” during spring break 2014 during which 15 students visited 5 post-secondary institutions and 4 cultural sites, to include travel on public transportation as a way to engage varying communities in Illinois 

Assistant Director for Programming and Communication June 2012-January 2014
University Honors Program, Northern Illinois University 

  • Developed and implemented programs, policies, and objectives to provide engaged learning opportunities to serve +1,000 students and university relations, alumni relations, and public relations constituents 
  • Oversaw the University Honors living-learning community, including supervision of budget. Serve as an expert in residential education, providing reports, analyses, information, and recommendations 
  • Developed print and web-based communication materials to promote program initiatives; coordinate social media efforts 
  • Coordinated personnel management functions; supervised 10 student staff members and 25 interns. Responsible for the development of evaluation systems and training 
  • Represented the program in its collaborative interactions with the Provost Office, University Relations, and the broader university community 
  • Prepared annual and quarterly budget reports and ensure those expenditures are controlled in line with budget 
  • Assisted with undergraduate University Honors academic advising, research assistantships, scholarship, fellowship, and national recognition applications 


  • Assisted in administering strategic plans regarding student outreach, recruitment, and retention resulting in a 15% increase in enrollment, with 23% increase in underrepresented student populations 
  • Assessed and redeveloped University Honors Program’s Peer Mentor Program to establish 21 undergraduate student internships 
  • Developed and established Northern Illinois University’s, “Social Justice Conference: Strengthening our Campus Community while Developing Culturally Effective Students” 

Research and Project Specialist July 2011-June 2012 
Latino Resource Center, Northern Illinois University 

  • Collaborated with university and community departments in outreach, enrollment, and retention initiatives 
  • Established strategies to engage students through the development and promotion of cultural, social, and academic programs 
  • Assisted with the development of the assessment plan and internal review 
  • Supervised four undergraduate student workers and one intern 
  • Recruited and coordinated 50 volunteers for campus and community events 
  • Translated 10 research documents and 15 web pages into Spanish 


  • Coordinated the first university wide training program in the state of Illinois on how to effectively assist undocumented students 
  • Co-founded the Adela de la Torre Honor Society, first Latino Honor Society at Northern Illinois University 

Ambassador Oct. 2010- Oct. 2011 
KnowHow2Go Campaign, Washington, D.C. 

  • Updated 3 social media outlets on a bi-weekly basis with college awareness topics 
  • Created 20 blog posts for the KnowHow2GO Campaign website 
  • Provided college and financial aid virtual counseling 


  • Developed new methods of outreach directed at underrepresented student populations for the KnowHow2GO campaign 
  • Created the first Spanish blog posts on the KnowHow2GO website 

College Adviser June 2009- June 2011 
Illinois College Advising Corps, University of Illinois 

  • Advised +900 students in the completion of college essays, recommendation letters, interviews, and applications. Compiled bi-weekly student data to record Round Lake High School’s 2009-10 and East Aurora High School’s 2010-2011 college application rates 
  • Assisted in the completion and submission of 500 Free Application for Federal Student Aid applications, 10 College Scholarship Search Profiles, and 250 scholarship applications 
  • Facilitated 35 classroom presentations, 15 bilingual parent sessions, and 25 community workshops. Created 15 Spanish college admissions handouts and 15 Spanish presentation 
  • Reviewed and advised students on the terms, conditions, and responsibilities of their financial aid award letter notifications by maintaining familiarity with Federal and State financial aid regulations and procedures 
  • Oversaw the submission of East Aurora High Schools 2010 application for the White House Commencement Challenge 


  • Established Decision Day at Round Lake High School and East Aurora High School 
    • Decision Day: a school wide celebration that honors graduating seniors that declared which post-secondary institution they will be attending. Students and faculty participated in motivational presentations, student panels, entertainment, and giveaways (5 laptops) for which I fundraised $2000 each academic year. 
  • Developed the school profiles for Round Lake High School 2009 and East Aurora High School 2012 

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