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Panelist and Presenters

2023 Panelists and Presenters: In order to make the Transfer Summit as accessible as possible to student leaders, staff, and faculty from around the country, the Spring 2023 series will continue with its virtual format. Each 90-minute session will focus on a transfer student topic and include both a presentation from transfer student leaders and a moderated panel with national transfer experts.

  • April 11: Transfer Trends and Issues
  • April 12: Transfer Transitions

Webinar One: Transfer Trends and Issues

John Fink

John Fink
Senior Research Associate and Program Lead, Community College Research Center

John Fink is a Senior Research Associate and Program Lead at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University. John’s research focuses on learner transitions between educational sectors with the goal of eliminating barriers that result in unequal access to opportunities for low-income, first-generation, and students of color. He has led national research on community college transfer outcomes and disparities in access to dual enrollment programs, and he co-authored the Transfer and Dual Enrollment Playbooks (with the Aspen Institute) detailing how community colleges can partner across sectors to broaden access to high-opportunity postsecondary pathways. Prior to joining CCRC, John advised community college transfer students at the University of Maryland.

Armando Lizarraga

Armando Lizarraga
Doctoral Student, University of Texas at Austin

Armando Lizarraga is a native of Inglewood, California, and a current doctoral student in the program of higher education leadership at The University of Texas at Austin. He is currently a graduate research assistant for Project MALES and an instructor for the Texas Prison Education Initiative. He earned an Associate of Arts in general studies from El Camino College, a Bachelor of Arts in Chicana/o studies and sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and his Master of Arts in higher and postsecondary education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

As a proud community college alumnus himself, his scholarship lies at the intersections of education and carcerality, specifically incarcerated individuals’ access to higher education both during and after incarceration through community colleges. Armando’s research interest is rooted in his experiences as a system-impacted individual and transfer student who had to navigate higher education from the margins. He previously worked as a research assistant at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he focused on projects related to student support services and advising; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and efforts to maintain and improve the quality and equity of community colleges. Armando also worked as a peer mentor for UCLA’s Center for Community College Partnerships, where he provided academic support to underrepresented community college students with course planning and the transfer application process.

Webinar Two: Transfer Transitions

Jackie Duerr

Jackie Duerr, Ed.D.
Program Manager, University of California, San Diego

Impassioned by her own transfer student experience, Dr. Jaclyn Duerr acts as an advocate and agent for transfer student success initiatives at the university level. She has been collaborating and creating retention services and programs for twelve years, currently serving as the Program Manager for Transfer Student Success at the University of California, San Diego. In addition to her research and work around transfer students, Dr. Duerr specializes in academic difficulty as well as a sense of belonging among commuter students. Within our technology-saturated culture, Dr. Duerr seeks to create accessible, cutting-edge, student-centered programs and services in efforts to build students’ connection to the university, other students, and their goals.

Marisol Garza

Marisol Garza, Ph.D.
Institutional Support Consultant, Trellis Company

Dr. Marisol Garza currently serves as an Institutional Support Consultant with the Trellis Company. In this role, she helps Minority Serving Institutions implement strategies to maximize student support. As a first-generation, Latina student and community college graduate, her work is driven by her personal experience and is centered on examining educational systems, practices, and processes to advance equity, strengthen transfer pathways, and facilitate educational attainment for minoritized students. As a long-time community college professional, Dr. Garza began her service as a work-study student at Lone Star College – Tomball and then held several positions in Financial Aid and Student Services at Lone Star College – CyFair, Austin Community College, University of Houston Downtown, and Houston Community College. During her graduate studies, Dr. Garza was selected as a Community College Research Fellow for the Texas Success Center and served as Graduate Research Assistant for the Texas Transfer Project and the Center for Community College Student Engagement. She earned her AA from Lone Star College, BS in Psychology from the University of Houston, M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance at Texas State University, and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Texas at Austin.