Marissa Vasquez

Marissa Vasquez, Ed.D.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Associate Director, Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL), Director and Graduate Adviser, PELSA & Associate Professor

Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education

San Diego

Mail Code


Marissa Vasquez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education (ARPE) at San Diego State University (SDSU). Broadly, her research seeks to better understand the experiences, factors, and conditions that facilitate success among underrepresented college students, particularly community college and transfer students. Her research agenda includes three strands: (1) understanding the pre/post transitional experiences of community college transfer students to four-year institutions; (2) using anti-deficit perspectives to examine the experiences of Latina/o/x college students; and (3) exploring the role of community colleges in fostering welcoming and inclusive campus environments for disproportionately impacted students.

As the Associate Director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL), Dr. Vasquez leads multiple projects that involve institutional needs assessments for disproportionately impacted students in community colleges. She is also a Faculty Affiliate for Project MALES, an initiative supported by the University of Texas at Austin to sustain the development and visibility of scholarship on men of color.

In addition to her contributions as a scholar, Dr. Vasquez also dedicates her time to the Latinx community in San Diego. She is the co-chair of the scholarship committee for MANA de San Diego, a local non-profit organization that empowers and supports Latinas through education. Since 2005, she’s also served as a mentor for the Puente Project at Southwestern College, a program that she was once a part of as a community college student. As a UC Berkeley alum, Dr. Vasquez is the founder and co-chair of the UC Berkeley Chicanx/Latinx Alumni Association in San Diego, a non-profit organization that supports incoming UCB high school and community college Latinx students via scholarships.

She also established the Vasquez Scholarship for Advancing Latinx Student Success at SDSU. The scholarship supports doctoral students conducting research on Latinx community college students and/or Latinx transfer students and/or post-baccalaureate achievement of Latinx transfer students. Beyond the local Latinx community, Dr. Vasquez also remains dedicated to advancing research and cultivating the Latinx community at the national level.

Areas of Specialization

  • pre/post transitional experiences of community college transfer students to four-year institutions
  • socio, cultural, and gendered experiences of Latina/o/x college students
  • community college equity


  • Ed.D. in Community College Leadership, San Diego State University
  • M.A. in Counseling, University of San Diego
  • B.A. in English, University of California, Berkeley
  • A.A. in Transfer Studies, Southwestern College


  • Vasquez, M. C, Vang, M., Garcia, F., & Harris III, F. (2019). What do I eat? Where do I sleep?: A concern for men of color in community college. Community College Journal of Research & Practice, 43(4), 295-306.

  • Falcon, V., Harris III, F., Leal, U., & Vasquez, M. (2018). An intersectional multicultural approach to advising and counseling transborder Mexican-American men in the community college. New Directions for Student Services, no. 164, 73-83.

  • Vasquez Urias, M., Falcon, V., Harris III, F., Wood, J. L. (2017). Narratives of success: A retrospective trajectory analysis of men of color who successfully transferred from the community college. New Directions for Institutional Research, no. 170, 23-33.

  • Rodriguez, S. L., Vasquez, M. C., & Salinas, C. (2017, September). Latino men and masculinities: Community college transfer experiences in Texas, California, and Florida. Project MALES Faculty/Research Affiliates, 11, 1-2.

  • Vasquez Urias, M., & Wood, J. L. (2015). Predictors of non-cognitive outcomes on perceptions of school as a feminine domain among Latino men in community college. Culture, Society, and Masculinities, 7(1), 22-32.

  • Vasquez Urias, M., & Wood, J. L. (2014). Black male graduation rates in community colleges: Do institutional characteristics make a difference? Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 00:1-13.