A Lubbock, Texas native, Marisol Alonzo serves as Research Compliance Specialist for Financial Conflict of Interest in the Office of Research and Innovation at Texas Tech University. Prior, she was a Registered Behavior Therapist at the Lubbock Autism Academy. Marisol was also the Program Coordinator for the Plains Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech University.
Her academic journey began at South Plains College, as a non-traditional student. There she was introduced to the Plains Bridges to the Baccalaureate (PBB) program and participated in autism research at the Burkhart Center for Autism Research and Education. The PBB program was critical in igniting her zeal for research and empowerment in representing the underrepresented in higher education, and diversity in STEM. Thus, providing that widow of opportunity through networking while navigating her interests in multicultural education in the most vulnerable communities at large. PBB was the beacon of light which demonstrated the power and strength which is built through the relationship of mentoring, and warmth of knowing that she was not alone in this journey. As a Bridges scholar and Program coordinator has taught her that due diligence and perseverance will determine your success.
As an undergrad, she received authorship on the publication, "Evaluating the Ability of the PBS Children’s Show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood to Teach Skills to Two Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder." She has presented this research at multiple national conferences. Marisol holds an Associate's in Science from South Plains College. She has a Bachelor's in Human Development and Family Studies, and Master's in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from Texas Tech University. Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy at Texas Tech University.
Her personal insight led her to pursue higher education when her son was diagnosed with autism. This diagnosis instills the passion within her to advocate for families with students of color with different abilities in the educational system.
Marisol wants to bridge the gap between local, state, and federal policy and practice between administrators, teachers, and parents for successful and positive outcomes in students of color with different abilities. She wants to provide the guidance to advocate in forging agreements among the various stakeholders, and the guidance in evaluating the infrastructure to create the sustaining action and the implementing momentum. She believes that leadership, democracy, and schooling are threads in the fabric of life for creating and educating students to become self-sufficient citizens.
Her research interests are in Multicultural Special Education Policy to provide a framework that will ensure and strengthen access to quality education for students of color in special education. She wants to join forces with parents, as an advocate for students of color with different abilities, and train state and local educational agencies, where her goal is to enhance the abilities, the performance, implement policies regarding the overall quality of life for underrepresented students in the most vulnerable communities. She wants to ask if “highly qualified” teachers are culturally competent, by exploring the teacher’s cultural responsiveness in preparedness and multicultural attitudes, and if there is an influence between the progression or regression in their student’s Individualized Education Program progress.