Marielisbet Perez



Twitter: @MarielisbetP


51 Gerty Dr., Rm. 120
Champaign, IL 61820

Research Associate

Marielisbet Perez is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership concentrating on social, cultural, and higher education. Her research agenda is to promote the access, persistence and successes of traditionally underrepresented populations (e.g. first-generation, nontraditional, parenting students, mature adult learners, women of color, limited-income individuals, and racial/ethnic groups) in higher education through ethnography and qualitative examination of students’ testimonios/narratives/stories of their experiences at two- and four-year colleges and universities. Currently, her research focuses on understanding the experiences of parenting students, mothers and fathers in doctoral programs from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, and family types. As a graduate student and mother of two, she co-created Students with Families, an organization dedicated to recognizing and supporting parenting students in postsecondary education working on their degrees while raising their children.


  • Ph.D. Candidate, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.A., Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • B.A., Behavioral Science with minors in Communication Studies and Sociology, San José State University
  • A.A., Psychology, Evergreen Valley College
  • Parenting students’ postsecondary education pathways and completion
  • First-generation and nontraditional students labeling and experiences
  • Parents, children, and family educational experiences (K-12/Postsecondary education)
  • Postsecondary education policy (federal/state level) and institutional services
  • Association for the Study of Higher Education
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Council for the Study of Community Colleges
  • Latina/o Studies Association
  • National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies
  • The Latina Researchers Network
  • Sociology of Education Association