Dr. Oropeza is an Assistant Professor in Applied and Advanced Studies in Education. Prior to joining CalStateLA, she worked as a Visiting Scholar at UC San Diego working with doctoral students and engaged in research about Local Control Funding and the College Readiness of ELL students. Dr. Oropeza also worked in the Office of Graduate Students and taught master’s and doctoral students in the Educational Leadership Program at California State University Fullerton.
Dr. Oropeza worked as an adjunct counselor at Rio Hondo College and served as an Assistant Dean of Students at Marquette University. Her experience as a student affairs practitioner includes the areas of leadership development, multicultural affairs, academic advising and women’s issues at four different campuses, both public and private. As such, she understands the holistic development of students and the value of them as individuals. She has worked with numerous academic and administrative departments to foster a better understanding of the issues students face on campus. She also has a comprehensive view of student affairs especially the programmatic, administrative and fiscal aspects of programs and services.
The uniqueness of her work is that it includes the perspective of groups of students that are growing in K-12, yet under-represented, under-researched and/or underserved in higher education. These populations include non-native English speakers, children of immigrants, and racial minorities. Her research focuses specifically on the experiences of these vulnerable student populations with an emphasis on equitable access to college, student retention and how inequities may potentially be maintained after college. A related line of inquiry in my research involves examining leadership practices and policies that facilitate equity in higher education. She has presented at numerous professional conferences including ACPA, NASPA, AERA, and ASHE and has written several manuscripts.
Dr. Oropeza received her doctorate from the University of Washington.