Chicano Latino Student Affairs (CLSA) provides enrichment programs and services that enhance the academic success and personal development of Chicanx/Latinx students at The Claremont Colleges. Our office offers academic support, personal guidance, graduate/professional school advice, cultural enrichment and leadership opportunities. We strive to promote programming that establishes a strong foundation in order to ensure success at The Claremont Colleges.
I grew up in Barrio Logan, a Latino immigrant community in South East San Diego located 15 minutes away from the international border. Both of my parents immigrated from Jalisco, Mexico and labored with limited resources to provide a better life for my brother, sister, and myself. With my parent’s hard work and dedication, my brother, sister, and I was able to achieve the dream of attending college and create upward mobility in the Latino educational pipeline.
I earned my undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. The following year I went on to earn my master’s degree in Education, with an emphasis in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University. While at Harvard, my research consisted of examining issues of diversity, access, and equity in California. In particular, I examined the effects of the elimination of affirmative action in undergraduate admissions at UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC San Diego.
After completing my masters, I attended the University of Illinois earning my Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies. My doctoral research focused on the social, political, economic, and cultural effects of the elimination of affirmative action in admissions for African Americans and Chicano/Latinos at UCLA. In order to answer these questions, I incorporated, social, cultural, economic capital, reproduction, and Critical Race theories.
Working on my research has enabled me to present at national conferences such as the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). I have also served in the Editorial Board of the American Educational Research Journal (AERJ). In addition, I have 2 publications; Hiding the Politically Obvious: A Critical Race Theory Preview of Diversity as Racial Neutrality in Higher Education in the Journal of Educational Policy and Another Side of the Percent Plan Story: Latino Enrollment in the Hispanic Serving Institution Sector in California and Texas, a book chapter in Understanding Minority-Serving Institutions.
Prior to coming to the Claremont Colleges Services, I coordinated the University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS) at UC Merced and was Project Director of the National Science Foundation California Alliance for Minority Participation (NSF CAMP). Both of these programs aimed to expand the graduate pool of underrepresented students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). I also managed the recruitment, retention of graduate students. Prior to coming to UC Merced, I coordinated the MD/Ph.D. program at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.
As a first-generation college student, I experienced, first-hand, the trials of adjusting and navigating environments that were foreign to me. Coming from a working-class background, I am appreciative the guidance of my mentors. It is my desire to be able to assist students at the Claremont Colleges on how to be successful both in the classroom and in their communities.
Pay it forward. This motto has always been the driving force behind my decision to go into student affairs. In fact, my passion for student development stems directly from my unique upbringing. I was raised in a single-parent household, with fifteen siblings -that’s right, 15 brothers and sisters -and yes, they’re from the same set of parents! I have many fond memories growing up in a large family, and at an early age, we all had a love of learning, and deeply valued our education. After high school, I went straight to college, earning a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, then went on to earn a master’s degree in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership. I then worked within the nonprofit sector, collaborating with various grassroots organizations, on the eastside of Los Angeles. Serving as a researcher and program developer, I helped create holistic “cradle to college” pipelines for low-income, first-generation college-going students within the Los Angeles Unified School District.
After leaving the nonprofit sector, I worked as a consultant for state and federal equity reports, focusing on underrepresented and marginalized populations. I also have worked with federally funded TRiO programs (i.e. EPOCHS, GEAR UP, and Upward Bound), at a Hispanic Serving Institution, in north Orange County. These college access and retention programs have broadened my perspective on student success, which has laid a solid foundation for me to fully support Latinx students succeed at The Claremont Colleges.
It is an honor to serve as the Assistant Dean of Chicano Latino Student Affairs; after all, this is my way of doing what I love, paying it forward by influencing the next generation of leaders.
Miriam Escobedo Administrative and Events Coordinator
When I started working with students over 13 years ago, I found my passion and my calling. I never thought my heart and mind could expand so much as I got to know them, learned about their culture, listened to their dreams and their fears, and walked with them through their academic and personal journeys. They became my sons, my daughters and my friends! My life is so much richer because of that.
I strongly believe in the power of encouragement and support, as I personally would not have made it many times in my life without those who cheered me on and encouraged me to keep my “eyes on the prize.” A timely, kind word can change the course of history! And that is my continued mission as I start my new position of Administrative and Events Coordinator at the Chicano Latino Student Affairs.
On a more personal note, I am from Argentina and contrary to what most people assume, I am not a soccer “fanática”. Terrible, right? However, I must confess that I get very passionate during World Cups supporting all the Latino teams, beginning first of course with my country’s.
I love traveling and my ambitious dream is to visit the countries of all the students I have ever met. Please, stop by my office so that I can learn more about you and where you are from. I am so excited to meet my new Latino community!
Ph.D. Student, Claremont Graduate University
Hometown: Pomona, CA
As a first-generation college student, and now a graduate student, I know how difficult it can be to navigate higher education. I was born and raised in Pomona, and although not far from here, my life and educational experience are deeply shaped by my community and my experience as a first-generation, working-class Latina. Nonetheless, I made it to college! In 2013, I graduated from UC Riverside as a double major, earning my Bachelors in Sociology and in Chicana/o Studies. My experience at UC Riverside was positive and challenging. I worked multiple jobs throughout my undergraduate career and was not able to study abroad or intern because of my need to work to stay in school. My experience was typical of a first-generation student and I decided that I wanted to build bridges to higher education for the students that would come after me. As the oldest of four children, leading the way is not new to me, but I have never been interested in being the first, I have always been concerned with not being the last. Now as a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs concentration at CGU, I am learning how to turn my experience and those of my other first-generation students of color into clear pathways for success. My position as a Graduate Fellow at CLSA is essential to building these bridges for both undergraduate and graduate students, and I am proud to be a part of the CLSA familia.