Dr. Gonzales currently serves as the Senior Director of the Office of First Generation Transition & Mentoring Programs and the Office of Academic Enrichment, which are under the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement at Texas Tech University. In overseeing both offices, Dr. Gonzales is responsible for the oversight of academic and social program implementation, the recruitment and retention of First Generation College students, and continued community partnerships for the advancement of AVID in Higher Education through the Office of Academic Enrichment.
Dr. Gonzales has worked in higher education since 2010 and has served in various roles, which include institutional diversity, undergraduate education, student affairs, as well as recruitment and retention efforts for First Generation College students. Dr. Gonzales earned a Bachelor of Art's Degree in Communication Studies from Texas Tech University, a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Wayland Baptist University and obtained her Ph.D. in Higher Education Research at Texas Tech University. In addition to her current role in overseeing the office of First Generation Transition and Mentoring Programs, as well as the Office of Academic Enrichment, Dr. Gonzales also serves as the Foster Care Liaison for the University. Her research interest focuses on the parental influence and relationship among First Generation College students attending community colleges and universities.
Kasaundra Garcia is a West Texas native and Texas Tech alumna. Her responsibilities include assisting the unit in developing programs, activities and partnerships that help fulfill the mission of Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement as well as to assist in recruiting diverse students to Texas Tech University.
Kasaundra also functions as the liaison for AVID Texas Tech, serving in the provision of adequate resources that include, financial, staffing, and materials. As the AVID campus liaison, she is responsible for developing and monitoring an AVID Campus Plan that includes provisions for student and faculty services and workshops as well as plans for future growth and development of the program. In addition to her duties as the Unit Coordinator, Kasaundra also coordinates the AVID IS 1102 course at Texas Tech University, and is the TAME Chair for the Lubbock STEM Competitions, covering regions 16 and 17, and focusing on populations that remain underrepresented in fields of STEM.
Kasaundra volunteers for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Service, Operation Baby watch and with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. Prior to joining the team Kasaundra worked as the STAR Administrator for Catholic Charities, helping individuals and families who face crises or need social services to improve their quality of life. Her role was to establish and carry out departmental goals, policies and procedures, manage general activities, analyze financial statements and improve other performance indicators. Kasaundra has a Bachelors of Science in Retail Management, and has a Master's of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.