Lesley Rivas

Photo of Lesley  Rivas

Educational Leadership & Policy

Ph.D. in Education Policy and Planning, The University of Texas at Austin, expected 2026
Ed.M. in Education Policy and Planning, The University of Texas at Austin, 2022
B.A. in Latina/o Studies & Spanish, University of Michigan, 2020

Email: lesrivas@utexas.edu
Lesley Rivas López is a doctoral student in the Education Policy and Planning program in the Department of Education Leadership and Policy. Her research interests include ethnic studies, the educational access and attainment of Latinx students across the K-20 pipeline, and educational equity for underserved students through policy reform and the building of culturally-responsive support models. Lesley currently serves as a Graduate Research Assistant for Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success), a research-based mentorship initiative for boys and young men of color in the Austin area. Additionally, she serves as a policy fellow for the Mexican American School Boards Association (MASBA), a non-profit organization that serves Texas school boards and strives to be an advocate for the educational opportunity of Latinx students.

Lesley earned her M.Ed. in Education Policy and Planning from The University of Texas at Austin and her B.A. in Latinx Studies and Spanish from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is originally from Chicago, Illinois and remains deeply passionate about changing the educational opportunities for her community through her research, volunteerism, professional, and academic pursuits.