Team: Faculty and Staff



Dr. Ruth Zambrana is a Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies and Director, Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity at the University of Maryland, College Park with affiliate faculty appointments in Sociology, African American Studies, Public Health and she is the founding director of U.S. Latina/o Studies at University of Maryland. Her areas of expertise include the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and institutional policies and practices on health and higher education outcomes. Her scholarship has focused on racial/ethnic populations with a focus on women’s health and Latino population health. A second area of focus is the impact of occupational stressors on the health and mental well-being of historically underrepresented minority faculty using an intersectional lens of race/ethnicity, gender and institutional power.

Her most recent anthologies include Obesity Interventions in Underserved Communities: Evidence and Directions with Virginia Brennan and Shiriki Kumanyiki (2014), and The Magic Key: The Educational Journey of Mexican Americans from K-12 to College and Beyond (2015), with co-editor Sylvia Hurtado. She has published extensively in her areas of interest and her most recent publications include: Zambrana, R.E., Meghea, C., Talley, C., Hammad, A., & Lockett, M., Williams, K.P. (2015). Association between family communication and health literacy among underserved racial/ethnic women. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 26(2), 391-405 and Zambrana, R.E., Ray, R.J., Espino, M. M., Castro, C., Douthirt-Cohen, B., & Eliason, J. (2015). “Don’t Leave Us Behind”: The Importance of Mentoring for Underrepresented Minority Faculty. American Educational Research Journal, 52(1), 40-72.

To see complete Curriculum vitae click here.

For a complete list of Dr. Zambrana's publications please, click here.


Assistant Director

Dr. Diana M. Guelespe is the incoming Assistant Director of CRGE. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Loyola University Chicago. She has conducted research in the areas of health, homelessness, education and immigration. Her scholarship focuses on the lives of mixed-status immigrant families and the daily challenges they confront as they pursue their education, seek and maintain employment and carry out family obligations while balancing the risk of deportation. She is committed to engaging in community-based participatory research to address social inequalities and identify policies that will improve the quality of life of marginalized community members.

Dr. Guelespe’s research on mixed-status families and their daily challenges with driving appear in the edited book, Living Together, Living Apart: Mixed-Status Families and US Immigration Policy. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Slevin Award for Engaged Teaching and Learning from Georgetown University. She also received the Community Paper Award by the Society for the Study of Social Problems for her report titled, “Integrating the Undocumented Community: A Qualitative Exploration of the Process for Obtaining DC’s Limited Purpose Driver’s License.” The research project, funded and awarded to her by the Sociological Initiatives Foundation in 2014, led to policy changes which strengthened language access procedures and increased accessibility of the license to the immigrant population. Prior to her work at the University of Maryland, she was the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Center for Social Justice at Georgetown University. Originally from Chicago, she was motivated to pursue her studies through her participation as a volunteer, staff and board member of grassroots campaigns and organizations which served the immigrant community. She is the daughter of immigrants from Mexico and Peru and obtained her Bachelor and Master degree from a Hispanic-serving institution, Northeastern Illinois University.


Associate Research Director

Dr. Michelle M. Espino is Assistant Professor of Higher Education, Student Affairs and International Education Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research centers on understanding community contexts and institutional responses associated with educational achievement and outcomes along the academic life course for racial/ethnic minorities, with particular focus on the experiences of Latina/o students, college administrators, and faculty. Her scholarly work illustrates her commitment to advancing diverse perspectives on Latina/o educational attainment, creating connections between the institution and the community to enhance access to higher education, developing innovative approaches to qualitative research, and preparing higher education administrators to work with diverse student populations.

Dr. Espino has published articles in the Review of Higher Education, American Educational Research Journal, Teachers College Record, Equity & Excellence in Education, and Qualitative Inquiry. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education and the NASPA Journal on Women in Higher Education. She was the 2015 recipient of the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association Hispanic Issues in Research special interest group, the 2015 recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Member award from the NASPA Latina/o Knowledge Community, a 2011 Faculty Fellow for the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, the 2008 recipient of the Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year Award from the Association of the Study of Higher Education, and a 2007 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow. Prior to her work at the University of Maryland, she was an assistant professor in the College Student Affairs Administration program at the University of Georgia, served as the Coordinator of Student Programs at Southern Methodist University (TX), and helped to establish the Social Justice Leadership Center at the University of Arizona. She is the oldest daughter of Armando and Ramona Espino of El Paso, Texas and is the first person in her family to graduate from college.

To see complete Curriculum vitae click here


Program Management Specialist

Wendy Hall serves as Program Management Specialist for the Consortium. She joined the staff of CRGE in July 2002. Prior to that, Hall served as an Office Manager for a local CPA firm. Wendy passed her A+ Certification exam in July 2002 and is currently pursuing her Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE) Certification.


CrISP Scholar

Lenora R. Knowles, CrISP Scholar, is a first year doctoral student in the Women's Studies Department. Lenora's academic work pivots around the question of how are radical poor and working class African American women and Latinas doing grassroots organizing within their respective communities and together across lines of race, ethnicity, and immigration status. Lenora currently resides in Baltimore where she is actively engaged in grassroots community organizing efforts to end police brutality and economic injustice with an intersectional analysis of race, class, gender, sexuality, and immigration status.

Prior to joining the Department of Women's Studies, she earned a Master of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and held a fellowship at the Poverty Initiative/Kairos Center for the duration of her time in seminary. While at Union she studied the role of religion and spirituality in building grassroots poor people's movements, political economy, and African American women's leadership in the welfare rights movement of the 1960s and 70s. Lenora became the first person in her family to graduate from college to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies from Brown University. Lenora first developed both her profound appreciation for the essential role of knowledge production in deconstructing power and oppression and her profound passion for building grassroots social justice movements led by those most directly impacted as a student organizer at Brown.


Communications Coordinator

DB Bauer is a doctoral student in the Women's Studies Department. DB's work explores technology, affect, gender, and embodiment, with a focus on digital humanities and mixed-method approches, currently in regard to 3D modeling design and printing technologies.

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