Bios for the 100K Strong-Gabriela Mistral Scholars

Diana Barrera is a former principal and currently director of elementary curriculum at Somerset ISD. She earned her MA in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at San Antonio.   Ms. Barrera is pursuing PhD studies in School Improvement at Texas State University as a recipient of the Gowens Doctoral Merit Fellowship. She is a trained coach from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, and utilizes her skills to support principals in sustainable school improvement.   Ms. Barrera will utilize the cross-cultural knowledge and skills gained in her participation in Project LEARN-Chile to engage in international research and collaboration with learners and leaders across the globe.

Freda Bryson is currently a doctoral research assistant at Texas State University in the Adult, Professional and Community Education doctoral program. She holds a master’s degree in Adult Education from Troy University. She serves as the President of AAUW at Texas State University, and the State Policy Chair of the Texas Branch of AAUW. Her research interests include diversity and equity issues as they relate to higher education and workforce development.
Surisaddai Canela received her B.S. in Applied Learning and Development Early Childhood-4th grade Bilingual Education from the University of Texas at Austin, and her M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Advanced Literacy Instruction from Concordia University. Ms. Canela is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in education from Texas State University with an emphasis on school improvement. Her research interests are recognizing factors influencing the education of Latina students, and the formation of strong home-school relationships. Ms. Canela is an Elementary Bilingual educator who has experience teaching PK and 4th grade, and is currently a 2nd grade bilingual teacher. She plans to enter K-12 administration and ultimately become a university professor of future bilingual educators. As a researcher visiting Chile, she hopes to learn more about conducting critical discourse analysis in order to negotiate knowledge regarding educational equity from the lens of the research participants.
Susan M. Croteau received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, and her M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance and her M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Texas State University. She served in Texas public schools for 15 years, teaching at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She is currently a doctoral research assistant at Texas State University, where she is working to complete her PhD in Education with an emphasis on School Improvement.  Her research interests include advocacy for transgender students, teacher and student activism, and methods for social justice education.
Tim Eubanks develops and supervises implementation of youth leadership training and peer to peer youth health education for the City of Austin. He has 10+ years of experience working for the health, respect and dignity of under resourced communities as well as standing in solidarity with students, parents and community members’ fight for improved educational outcomes. Tim was a founding staff member of Austin Voices for Education and Youth, creator of the United Way Parent Leadership Institute and collaborator on the Refugio community organizing training program.  Tim received his undergraduate degree in Sociology at Antioch College, his master’s degree in secondary education from Texas State, and is currently enrolled in doctoral studies in Adult, Professional and Community Education at Texas State.
Yolanda Reyes Guevara received her B.A. in International Relations from Boston University with an emphasis in Latin American Studies and her M.P.A. from the University of Texas in San Antonio.   Mrs. Reyes Guevara is a doctoral student at Texas State University and is working on her PhD in Education with an emphasis in Adult, Professional and Community Education. Her research interests include returning adult students at community colleges and first generation Latino/a doctoral students.   Mrs. Reyes Guevara is also interested in expanding her knowledge of the educational systems in Latin America.   She is currently employed as a Senior Coordinator at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, TX with the Enrollment Services team and works to provide access to higher education to the San Antonio community.
S. Renée Jones received her B.A. in Mass Communications from University of South Florida, and her M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from University of West Georgia. Ms. Jones is currently a doctoral research assistant at Texas State University, where she is pursuing her PhD in Education with an emphasis in Adult Professional and Community Education. Her research interests include adults in higher education with particular attention to older adults and equity and diversity issues in education.
Jeffry King received his B.S. in Ministry and M.Div. from Abilene Christian University. He also holds an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Texas at Arlington. His current research critiques Gnostic philosophical influences on the audit culture of accountability mandates and high-stakes testing prevalent in current K-12 educational policy. By focusing on the relational aspects of teaching and learning, his research helps school leaders promote alternative understandings and practices of pedagogy within the standards-based learning environment.   Mr. King is currently the Editorial Assistant for the International Journal of Leadership in Education.
Brett Lee is a doctoral research assistant at Texas State University, where he is working to complete his PhD in Education with an emphasis in School Improvement. He holds a Masters of Education from Texas State, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Morehouse College, and Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech. For the past seven years, Mr. Lee managed after-school programs and summer camps for Austin Independent School District while providing technology consultation to small businesses. His research interests include university-community partnerships and the impact of social entrepreneurship on neighboring communities. In the spring of 2015, he served as a reviewer for the International Journal of Leadership in Education Emerging Scholars Competition. Mr. Lee is a self-published author of poetry and a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
Tanya Alyson Long received her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from New York University, and her M.A. in Music Education K through 12 from New York University. Ms. Long is a licensed principal and superintendent in the State of New York, and is also an accomplished opera singer. She is currently a doctoral research assistant at Texas State University, where she is working to complete her PhD in Education with an emphasis on School Improvement. Her research interests include curriculum development for principal and teacher preparation programs, pedagogy, and using arts-based methodologies in qualitative research. Ms. Long is also Co-Principal Investigator for the externally funded Project LEARN-Chile.
Iliana Melendez received her a B.A. in Psychology from St. Edward’s University, where she discovered a passion for service and social justice, which she has pursued with AmeriCorps and Texas Campus Compact Vista at the University of Texas at Austin. Iliana left the University of Texas at Austin to attend graduate school at Texas State University where she received her M.Ed. in Counseling & Guidance with a specialization in Student Affairs. She currently serves as a Student Conduct Officer with the Dean of Students at Texas State, where she also works with LAMBDA of Texas State, Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc., and assists the AdvoCATS Programming Board with Ally curriculum development and educational programming. Mrs. Melendez is a second year doctoral student in the Adult Professional and Community Education Program at Texas State University.
José Luis Moreno, MA, LPC is associate professor of Mortuary Science at San Antonio College and a doctoral student at Texas State University in the Adult, Professional, and Community Education Program. Moreno holds a license as a funeral director/embalmer and as a professional counselor. His counseling experience concentrates on bereavement, especially as it affects children and youths. As a visiting professor Moreno has conducted educational and training seminars on loss and bereavement in Mexico, Peru, South Korea, and Hong Kong.   Moreno’s research goals include combining adult education and bereavement facilitation to assist mortuary students, funeral professionals, and grief therapists explore comfortable venues to educate bereaved parents and children in communication and finding balance after the death of a loved one.
Daniel S. Perry currently serves as Assistant Vice President, University Advancement at Texas State University. In this role, he manages strategic planning for the University Advancement division and is responsible for departments providing operational and outreach support for university fundraising. Prior to Texas State University, Mr. Perry served as Chief of Strategic Initiatives for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), an Analyst for Court Interpreter Programs at the Judicial Council of California, and a two-year volunteer in a Municipal Planning Office in El Quiche, Guatemala. He is currently a doctoral student at Texas State University, where he is working to complete his PhD in Education with an emphasis on college access for low-income and first-generation students. He holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Davis and a M.A. in International Administration from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.
Clint-Michael Reneau is the director for the Office of Disability Services and Title IX investigator at Texas State University. Reneau provides leadership for the development of programs and services for a department that enhances both the curricular and co-curricular student experience. He has worked internationally in secondary and higher education for 13 years.   Reneau earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Texas State University, a Certification in Middle and Senior Leadership and Administration from the Institute of Education and Brunel University in London, England, and a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling with an emphasis in Student Affairs from Texas State University. He is currently working on his Doctorate in Adult, Professional and Community Education at Texas State. His research focuses on masculinity and manhood while providing a non-heteronormative way of thinking about and enacting a wide range of possible masculinities.
Laura Karina Reyna received her B.S. in Youth and Community Studies and a M.Ed. in School Counseling from the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Reyna is a licensed 4th-12th grade English and Language Arts Teacher and certified Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Texas.   Currently, she is the Lead Counselor at James Bowie H.S. in Austin, Texas, where she works to ensure access to academic and mental health services for all students. As an individual born and raised on the U.S.-Mexico border, her interests include improving access to higher education for Hispanic students, empowerment through community development, and eliminating barriers that prevent individuals from accessing education and mental health services.
Patricia Rocha received her B.A. in Spanish from St. Edward’s University, and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Texas State University, where she is working to complete her PhD in Education with an emphasis in School Improvement. Her research interests include principal leadership, issues of equity and access for students of color, and educational policy. She is a former school principal and currently, serves a large urban school district as a school facilitator. As a principal, Patricia was recognized by the Raise Your Hand Texas Leadership Program. She is a University Council for Educational Administration Barbara L. Jackson Scholar.
Skyller Walkes received her B.A. in Mass Media Journalism, Communications, and English, from Rutgers University, and her M.A. in Early Childhood and Education Administration from Kean University. Today, Skyller serves the Texas State University community as a staff member in the Division of Student Affairs in her role as Assistant Director in the Office of Disability Services. She is currently a doctoral student in the Adult, Professional, and Community Education Ph.D. program at Texas State University. In addition to being a certified K-12 educator, the breadth and width of her professional experience includes nonprofit and for-profit project management, educator coaching and training, account management, K-16 curricula supports, special education, adult education initiatives, English Language Learners, and social justice reform through community outreach and activism. Her passion for the afore-mentioned culminated in her role as an educational consultant in several international projects which took her to London and South Africa where she conducted workshops and facilitated symposia for educators, administrators and government officials to promote literacy and education reform. Skyller’s work as an education consultant also expanded to include programing and facilitated outreach for schools, regional libraries and diversity community education with the United States Embassy in Madrid, Spain.
Zane C. Wubbena is a PhD student in education with an emphasis in School Improvement at Texas State University. His research interests and teaching are informed by critical educational theory and socio-spatial theory with a focus on the broad interactions of critical pedagogy, space, service-learning, public pedagogy, dis/ability studies, and educational policy. In the course of his research, he utilizes qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques to understand relational patterns within educational contexts. His publications have appeared in the journals Critical Education, Learning and Individual Differences, Kappa Delta Pi Record, Teaching and Learning in Medicine, the International Journal of Medical Education, and The SoJo Journal: Educational Foundations & Social Justice Education. He has an edited book (co-authored with Derek R. Ford and Brad Porfilio), titled News Media and the Neoliberal Privatization of Public Education forthcoming through IAP. He also serves as the website director for the John Dewey Society.

cropped-100K-Image.pngGabriela Mistral