Motivated by a desire to heal the world and ensure a just society, our lab uses research to understand inequalities in educational opportunities by race/ethnicity, immigration, and language and to evaluate policies and practices that can expand equity and access in the college transition.

We always welcome motivated students to join our lab. Please email Dr. Holzman for details on current opportunities.

Current Members

Irina Chukhray, M.A. (pronounced: Eereena Chooh-Righ)

Irina is a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology Department at the University of California, Davis, specializing in immigrant-origin youth (1.5-Generation youth who arrived to the U.S. before age 18) and their college-going experiences. Irina has earned several awards for her research, including fellowships from the University of California, Davis, and the University of California, Berkeley. Her research has been supported by the Immigration Initiative at Harvard University, the Penn Migration Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Originally born in Ukraine and being a first-generation college graduate, Irina has dedicated her research to understanding what factors help immigrant-origin students follow their college-going dreams. In 2023, Irina was selected by the Ukraine Global Scholars nonprofit organization to mentor low-income high-achieving Ukrainian students aspiring to attend college in the U.S. For more information, please visit

Amina Crawford, M.S.

Aminah is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture's Curriculum and Instruction in Multicultural Education program at Texas A&M University. Aminah's multicultural and urban education research investigates the (in)equity of student development, college access, and career readiness for traditionally underserved student populations. Her professional passion comes from her personal experiences as the first person in her family to attend college. She recently earned her master of science degree, and her thesis was a systematic literature review on the perceptions of first-generation women of color in federally-funded TRIO programs. Aminah is the recipient of the Dr. Dionel Avilés ’53 and Dr. James Johnson ’67 Fellowship. She has held past positions as an AVID teacher and an equity peer mentor for undergraduate college students. In her leisure time, she enjoys the sun, playing video games, and playing board games.

Kristian Edosomwan, M.Ed.

Kristian is a third-year Ph.D. student and graduate assistant in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture at Texas A&M University with an emphasis in Multicultural Education. Kristian's research emphasis centers on critical quantitative analysis of academic tracking and discipline as it relates to student outcomes. She has published articles in Race Ethnicity and Education, School Science and Mathematics, and The High School Journal. Kristian has a strong interest in urban education and holds a master’s degree in education with a focus on urban education and serves as a founding officer of Bold Leaders in Urban Education (BLUE), a student organization at Texas A&M University. Her professional teaching experience includes teaching middle school math and science at Title I schools in Austin ISD, where she was named a Teacher of Promise and a member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Roundtable.

Corbin Franklin, M.A.

Corbin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Higher Education Administration program at Texas A&M University. He has a B.A. in Behavioral and Social Sciences from Southern Arkansas University and an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Sam Houston State University. As a first-generation college student, Corbin recognized the importance of being involved in co-curricular activities and their impact on academic success. As a result, he began his career as a Residence Life professional. These experiences have shaped his research interests. Corbin’s research focuses on employee-organization relationships, competency development, and attrition of student affairs professionals. Additionally, Corbin approaches research through a critical lens to examine and break down asymmetric power relationships in higher education. His dissertation will employ critical quantitative methodology to examine the employee-organization relationship through workplace exploitation.

Jee Sun (Jasmin) Lee, M.A.

Jasmin is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department at Rice University. Her research interests lie at the intersection between education, race/racism, and immigration. Some of her research projects include examining how private, supplementary education has shaped post-secondary inequality, the role of supports designed to support newly-immigrated students, and how the interplay between state and local entities influences educational opportunities and experiences of students, families, educators, and community members. Jasmin found her start in research within the research-practice partnership model, which has been integral to how she wants to show up as a scholar and as someone who strives to bridge research and practice. In her spare time, she is usually knitting, finding new places to eat, or pestering those around her to let her dog-sit for them. Her correct pronouns are she/hers.

José I. Valdez, M.S.

José is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Higher Education Administration program at Texas A&M University. He has an M.S. in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific University. His research interests include Latinx students in PK-20 education, identity development, critical pedagogy, & testimonios (storytelling for social justice). José firmly believes that college should be accessible to anyone who wishes to pursue it because of the transformative qualities it holds. College provided him with a second chance to rewrite his personal narrative by engaging in a process of self-discovery and developing a life purpose. José aims to do the same for others who have the aspiration to pursue their dreams.

Shuyu Wang, M.A.

Shuyu is a first-year Ph.D. student in the PK-12 Educational Leadership program at Texas A&M University. Her research pursuits are centered on K-12 educational administration and policy, focusing on parental engagement, immigrant students' education, and teacher preparation. Prior to joining Texas A&M University, Shuyu served as an educational administrator at a bilingual school in China. In this role, she dedicated herself to the diligent implementation of educational policies and cultivated a profound understanding of educational stakeholders. During her leisure time, Shuyu enjoys photography and traveling.

Jacqueline White, M.S.

Jacqueline is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Higher Education Administration program at Texas A&M University. She has a B.S. in Biomedical Science and M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Texas A&M University. Her research interests include Latina experiences in higher education, first-generation college students, rural and low-income student access, and university practices to promote student success and persistence. Jacqueline has held past positions on the A&M campus focused on program development, alumni relations, student leadership development, and student academic success. Some of her personal interests include spending time with her husband and children, reading, and visiting museums.

Jinhua Zhao, M.P.A.

Jinhua is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University. Her interests lie in PK-12 education policy, underrepresented groups in STEM, immigrants and education, parental engagement, and high school STEM education. Her dissertation will explore the diverse modes of participation in high school STEM education with a focus on encouraging immigrant students to pursue STEM academic and career pathways. As a learner and a future educator, she believes that education can empower individuals to flourish in their unique ways akin to letting flowers bloom as flowers and trees grow as trees.


Weiqi (Connie) Guo, M.S.

Connie is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. She completed a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on English as a Second Language. Her research interests lie in second and foreign language acquisition, pragmatics study, as well as bilingual and heritage language development, and her dissertation focus is on pragmatics instruction. Her experience as a Graduate Hall Director in the Department of Residence Life has triggered her interest in teaching and mentoring college students. She enjoys gardening and crafting in her spare time.