Professional Staff


Ashley Gonzales, Ph.D.

Senior Director

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.


Priscilla Morales, B.S.

Section Coordinator

Priscilla Morales is a native of El Paso, TX. In 2014, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Restaurant, Hotel, & Institutional Management, which is a nationally recognized hospitality program at Texas Tech University. Her responsibilities include oversight in all programming events with a focus in social engaging events, community service opportunities as well as office managerial responsibilities. She is currently working on attaining her master's degree from Angelo State University in student development & leadership in higher education.


J.R. Salinas, B.A.

Unit Coordinator

J.R. was born and raised in the city of Lubbock, TX but has traveled around the world several times. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with an emphasis in Art from Lubbock Christian University and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies here at Texas Tech University. As a Unit Coordinator, J.R. oversees the Second Year Success component of FGTM programs as well as Conversations with the Next Generation, a speaker series that is held every semester. J.R. enjoys spending his time off work with his family, staying active and simply enjoying life.


Patrick Byrne, B.S.


Patrick Byrne hails from the small border town of Eagle Pass, TX. While in school at Texas Tech, Patrick was the student assistant to the Senior Vice President of the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement for over three years. Alongside working for the university, Patrick was also employed as a Leadership & Professional Development Facilitator for the National FFA Organization. In his coordinator role, Patrick oversees the academic component of the program and is very passionate about student development, he hopes to continue his education within that field in the near future.