Transitions to Success in STEM Fields at Hispanic-Serving Institutions: A National Conference


Opening Keynote

Michael A. Olivas
William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law and Director, Institute for Higher Education Law & Governance at the University of Houston

Michael A. Olivas Professor Olivas is a distinguished legal scholar and, as he puts it, “accidental historian.” He has been publishing on topics closely related to this conference’s themes since 1979, when Howard University Press released The Dilemma of Access: Minorities in Two Year Colleges. Since then he has authored or co-authored fourteen books, including Latino College Students (1986), Prepaid College Tuition Programs (1993), “Colored Men” and “Hombres Aqui” (2006), No Undocumented Child Left Behind (2012), and Suing Alma Mater (2013). A new book, Perchance to DREAM: A Legal History of the DREAM Act, is in press. Professor Olivas has also published dozens of articles and book chapters focused on immigration law, legal history, and the US Supreme Court. He has also served the editorial boards of more than twenty scholarly journals.

Olivas holds a B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) from the Pontifical College Josephinum, an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Framing Keynote

Deborah A. Santiago
Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Policy, Excelencia in Education

Deborah A. Santiago Ms. Santiago is a co-founder of Excelencia in Education, a non-profit organization that fosters Latino student success through data-driven analyses and the promotion of educational policies and institutional practices that support achievement. She has worked in the federal government at the Congressional Research Service, at the U.S. Department of Education, and as the Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. Ms. Santigo’s current research focuses on state and federal policy, financial aid, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, evaluation of effective institutional practices, and student success in higher education.

Recent publications include Using a Latino Lens to Reimagine Aid Design and Delivery; and, Benchmarking Latino College Completion to Meet National Goals: 2010 to 2020. She has been cited for her work in numerous publications, including The Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education.