Elvira AbricaAssistant Professor
Ph.D., Higher Education and Organizational Change, Graduate School of Education and Informational Studies, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2015
M.A., Higher Education and Organizational Change, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2009
B.A., Chicana/o Studies, César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2008, Cum Laude, Departmental Highest Honors, College Honors
Dr. Elvira J. Abrica’s research interests focus on increasing access to higher education for historically underrepresented groups across post-secondary institutional contexts. Her agenda centralizes students’ subjective experiences with race, ethnicity, and immigrant generation and includes research on experiences and outcomes for men of color; student identity exploration and development in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields; organizational change and student equity in community colleges; and institutional research and assessment. Current projects include 1) a qualitative study on the vocational and transfer pathways of Black, Latino, and Asian American immigrant students within the Nebraska community college system, 2) a quantitative investigation of how community college leaders expand and restrict the STEM transfer function, and 3) an exploration of positioning of Latinos in the theoretical landscape of racial ontology. Dr. Abrica is a faculty affiliate of the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools (CYFS) at Nebraska and Project M.A.L.E.S at the University of Texas at Austin.
Prior to coming to Nebraska, Dr. Abrica worked professionally in institutional research, assessment and student affairs at four-year and two-year institutions. Past research studies--including a dissertation study titled “Thank God I’m Mexican: A Physiosocial Framework for Understanding Racial Reappraisal Strategies Among Latinos in Engineering"--have focused on Latino students in engineering; perceptions of campus climate among transgender, LGBQ, international, and transfer students; and militarization of American public schools. She received her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). A native of Southern California, Dr. Abrica also holds a B.A. and M.A. from UCLA.
Teaching and Advising
Dr. Abrica teaches in Higher Education and Educational Leadership, in the Community College Leadership specialization. Her teaching interests include topics related to access and equity, qualitative and quantitative methods, and organizational change. In serving as a faculty advisor and mentor to students, Dr. Abrica encourages students to think critically about research and to develop their own research agendas based on their interests and experiences. Prospective advisees are encouraged to pursue methodologically rigorous and conceptually innovative topics in developing thesis topics. Current students are working with Dr. Abrica to explore a range of topics related to success and completion in higher education.
Areas of Expertise:
Immigrant generation, race, and ethnicity
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
Equity and access in higher education