Pathway Team

Principal Investigator
Frankie Santos Laanan

Frankie Santos Laanan

Dr. Frankie Santos Laanan is an associate professor in the department of educational leadership and policy studies. His research focuses on college access, minority students' pathway to the baccalaureate and beyond, and the impact of community colleges on individuals and society. He received his PhD in higher education and organizational change from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Office: 515-294-7292
Faculty Affiliates
Soko Starobin

Soko Starobin

Dr. Soko Starobin is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) and Associate Director in the Office of Community College Research and Policy (OCCRP). Her research interests include community college students, women and minorities in science and engineering, and comparative higher education. She served as Postdoctoral Research Associate in ELPS from 2004 to 2007 and Clinician Faculty in 2008. Since her appointment at ISU, Dr. Starobin has worked with Dr. Frankie Santos Laanan for several grant projects, including the analysis of postcollege earnings among Iowa community college students and the examination of transfer behaviors of Iowa community college students. Dr. Starobin received her doctorate in higher education from the University of North Texas.
Latrice Eggleston

Latrice E. Eggleston

Dr. Latrice E. Eggleston is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) and Assistant Director in the Office of Community College Research and Policy (OCCRP). Her research interests include access in higher education, technician education, community college transfer students, student support services, and the matriculation of underrepresented groups in two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Dr. Eggleston served as a Postdoctoral Research Associate from 2006 to 2008. Prior to her new appointment, Dr. Eggleston coordinated the National Science Foundation Grant studying the promising practices of technician education in the STEM fields at Advanced Technological Education Centers. Dr. Eggleston received her doctorate in educational policy studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Marisa Rivera

Marisa Rivera

Dr. Marisa Rivera is a lecturer/project coordinator in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS). She graduated from Pace University with a BS in secondary education and minor in Office Information Systems. Dr. Rivera received her Master of Arts degree in Youth and Human Service Agency Administration from the University of Northern Iowa and a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from ISU in 1997. While still a graduate student at ISU, she served as a Visiting Scholar at the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University. Her areas of interest are Puerto Ricans on the Mainland, retention of Latina/o students, women in higher education, Latina/o adolescent development.
Post-Doctoral Research Associates
Dimitra Jackson

Dimitra Jackson

Dr. Jackson is a postdoctoral Research Associate in the Office of Community College Research and Policy (OCCRP). Dr. Jackson was born and raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 2003. She obtained her masters degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Student Affairs from Iowa State University in 2005. In 2010, Dr. Jackson obtained her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration. Dr. Jackson has worked as a Program Specialist in Multicultural Student Affairs at Iowa State University, as a Family Interaction Specialist at Institute for Social and Behavioral Research (ISBR) at Iowa State University and has been working in OCCRP for the past 3 years. She currently works on National Science Foundation (NSF) funded projects such as Path2STEM degree and the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) project as well as additional projects that focus on community college transfer student success. Dr. Jackson's dissertation is entitled "Transfer students in STEM majors: Gender differences in the socialization factors that influence academic and social adjustment." She is passionate about students, more specifically community college transfer students and women pursuing advanced degrees in STEM areas.
Carlos Lopez

Carlos Lopez

Carlos Lopez is a Post-doctoral Research Associate in the School of Education and an Assistant Director of Data Assessment and Information Management in the Office of Community College Research and Policy (OCCRP). He received his Ph.D. degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with emphasis in higher education from Iowa State University. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering and his Master's degree in Engineering Management both from Florida International University. He worked in companies such as CommerceBank, Johnson & Johnson, Electrolux and others as part of the operations, quality control, quality assurance and management teams. He started working at the office of Community College Research and Policy (OCCRP) as a Graduate Research Assistant in February 2009. He is currently working on a National Science Foundation funded project entitled the Pathway2STEM as Project Manager. He is also working in the Biomedical Materials and Process BioMaP REU Summer Research Experience project in conjunction with the ISU Engineering Department where he is conducting human interaction surveys, gathering and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data as well as planning and coordinating logistic. One of his biggest passions is the study of the academic success and social experiences of commmunity college transfer students to a STEM fields at a four-year institution.
Leaf Zhang

Yi (Leaf) Zhang

Yi (Leaf) Zhang, born and raised in Central China, recently received her Ph.D. in higher education from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Iowa State University. Her research focuses on international and community college students' success. With educational and professional experiences in both cultures, her career goal is to strengthen educational exchanges between the U.S. and China.
Mary Darrow

Mary Darrow

Mary Darrow is the Assistant Director and Evaluation Coordinator of the IINspire-LSAMP Program and the Assistant Director of External Relations with the Office of Community College Research and Policy (OCCRP) at Iowa State University. Mary was also the former Transfer Coordinator for Iowa State's College of Engineering and Project Manager of Iowa State University's NSF STEM Talent Expansion Program (STEP). She has served as chair of the Professional and Scientific Council's Recruitment and Retention Committee, the Iowa State University President's Retention Task Force, and Admissions Partnership Program (APP) Logistics Committee. Her research interests include STEM community college transfer students and institutional change as it relates to transfer student admissions and transition programming. She has been involved in several research projects with OCCRP studying STEM community college pathways to the baccalaureate for underrepresented minority and female students. Her dissertation work involves the study of engineering transfer student leavers. Mary received her Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 2012.
Graduate Research Associates
Emerald Wilson

Emerald C. Wilson

Emerald is currently a Master’s student in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies with a specialization in the Biological and Physical Science. She will be graduating in December 2009 from Iowa State University with a Master’s of Science and a Community College Teaching Certificate. In 2002, Emerald received her Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, PA. Her undergraduate tutorial was entitled, “Improving the General Chemistry Laboratory Experience through On-line Pre-laboratory Preparation” due to her interest in chemical education. After graduation, she did a summer internship at the University of New Hampshire and started graduate school that Fall as a PhD student in Organic Chemistry. In 2006, she was a PhD graduate student in Organic Chemistry at Iowa State University until Spring 2008 when she changed her focus to community college teaching. Her current graduate program has allowed her to combine her interest in organic chemistry, quantitative analysis, self-efficacy, and community college research.
Research Librarian
April Walker

April Anderson

April Anderson graduated from Iowa State University in May, 2006 with a BA in English. She has worked with ELPS/OCCRP since January 2006. She is a 2010 graduate of The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a Masters in Library and Information Sciences. She focused on community college librarianship and public librarianship with an emphasis on young adults and children. Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in the ELPS CCLP, and has been a student since August 2010. She is passionate about literacy, information literacy, and social equity.
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Liz Madrigal

Liz Madrigal

Liz Madrigal is an undergraduate student at Iowa State majoring in Psychology/Pre-Medicine. She plans to graduate in the Fall of 2010 with her Bachelor of Science. Liz is very active on campus and off-campus with organizations that include being the President of her sorority: Kappa Alpha Theta, a Cyclone Aide through New Student Programs, a volunteer at Mary Greeley Medical Center, and a member of the Pre-Medicine Club at Iowa State, among various other activities. She works as an Undergraduate Research Associate in the Office of Community College Research and Policy.

Katie Walquist

Katie Walquist is an undergraduate student at Iowa State University majoring in Electrical Engineering. She plans to graduate in the Spring of 2013 with a Bachelor's of Science. She recently transferred from Des Moines Area Community College where she received an Associate of Arts Degree and was very active on campus. She was Vice President of Scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa – Tau Phi and participated in numerous food drives, blood drives, bone marrow drives, and other community service projects. She was named to the All-Iowa Academic Team in 2009 and was 2009 Nominee for Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Her main interests include Pathway2STEM, community colleges, women and non-traditional students in higher education, and student success.

Chelsea Nash

Chelsea transferred from the University of Oregon to major in construction engineering at Iowa State University, with an interest in heavy highways and bridges. She works as an Undergraduate Research Associate in the Office of Community College Research and Policy. In her free time she enjoys listening to music, being outdoors and working on jigsaw puzzles.
Graphic/Web Designer
Donna Soulinthavong

Donna Le

Donna has received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design in May 2009. She is currently the web designer/graphic designer for OCCRP. She helps maintain/update the websites for both CCLP and OCCRP. Also, she works on print work such as posters and reports. Donna has proficient computer skills in Adobe programs: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and Flash. Besides web design, she is also very interested in 3d and digital drawing, and is proficient in the 3d program, Cinema 4D. In her free time, she likes to spend time with family and friends. Donna also likes to read and play video games.
National Science Foundation

This project is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Award Number: 0507882

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