Jackie Pedota is a Doctoral Student in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin and currently serves as a Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Liliana Garces.
Jackie was born and raised in Miami, FL and attended the University of Florida (UF) where she first became involved within Student Affairs as an undergraduate student leader within Multicultural and Diversity Affairs. She received her B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from UF and chose to use her STEM content-knowledge and social justice mindset to teach 9th grade science in Hartford, CT through Teach for America. She received her M.Ed from UT's PHEL in 2018 and decided to return home to Florida where she most recently worked as an Assistant Director for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in UF's Career Center.
As a daughter of Cuban immigrants, Jackie's research interests broadly focus on equity and access for Latino/a/x students. She is specifically interested in university counterspaces, like campus culture/identity centers, that use pedagogy to support Latino/a/x identity development at Predominantly White Institutions. She uses an interdisciplinary approach to conducting research and incorporates participatory research methodologies like oral history when working with Latino/a/x communities to empower and uplift their voices and experiences.