Catalina Vasquez

Photo of Catalina Vasquez

Educational Leadership & Policy

Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy, University of Texas at Austin, expected 2027
M.P.P. in Public Policy, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, 2023
B.A. in Political Science, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, 2017

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Catalina Vasquez is a Higher Education Leadership and Policy doctoral student at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research is focused on enhancing data-informed decisions regarding labor market returns and degree completion rates in postsecondary education. Catalina is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Schudde using quantitative and qualitative research methods, explicitly leveraging state administrative data for policy analysis on community college transfers for the state of Texas.
Before starting at UT Austin, she earned her bachelor of arts in Political Science and a master’s in Public Policy from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, where the school prided itself on a learning philosophy of Learn By Doing. Catalina has several years of work experience as an analyst in the State of California, most recently as a Strategic Enrollment Data Analyst for Cal Poly. During her graduate studies, Catalina was honored to present at the Western Political Science Association Conference (WPSA) as a keynote speaker on Emerging Issues in Higher Education in San Francisco.
Born and raised in a rural community known for its agriculture as the citrus capital of the world, Santa Paula, California, Catalina is a proud product of the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP). A college access program serving high school students with economic and historically disadvantaged backgrounds by enrolling them in college coursework at Cal Lutheran University. During her free time, she enjoys participating in hot yoga and exploring new trails with Ollie, her one-year-old Golden Retriever.