Yareli Iraiz Mendoza

Yareli Iraiz Mendoza, Ph.D. student, Higher Education and Student Affairs

Advocates for veterans

• Hometown: Santa Ana, CA
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Sherry Watt, Professor, College of Education
• What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Higher Education and Student Affairs – Ph.D. student, expected graduation date May 2021
• Please describe your research: I study Women Veterans & Latinx Veterans in Higher Education, I am interested in the experiences of women veterans as they navigate institutions of higher education because women veterans are significantly underrepresented in research, yet women veterans enter and persist in higher education at greater rates than their male veteran counterparts. Latinx veterans as a subgroup is steadily increasing yet little is known of Latinx veterans as a group.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? This research is important because veterans are often treated as a monolithic group. White, middle class, males are the dominant narrative within veteran research. As we move toward learning more about veteran reintegration post military service, we need to account for an individual’s identities – cultural or familial differences influence experiences.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? Immediately, engaging in research is part of every student’s experience within the HESA program. The faculty and students in the HESA program were extremely encouraging and supportive in connecting me with the resources I needed to continue to develop my ideas.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Being involved in research has giving me a sense of purpose and direction. The research is what grounds me, and I know that the work I contribute will make a difference in how we socialize student veterans into higher education.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? After graduation my goal is to work within the student affairs profession, I am particularly interested in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work.

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