Stephanie Castellanos
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Stephanie is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin and is from Pharr, Texas. She will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Global Studies May 2018. Stephanie plans to accept a position with Teach for America after graduation and teach Bilingual Education for the next two years. She hopes to seek a masters degree in Educational Policy. She strives to help close the gap of educational inequity and promote bilingualism in the state of Texas.


Irene Cheff
Graduate Research Assistant

Irene is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s of Science in Social Work (MSSW) with a clinical emphasis from the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. Irene is interested in providing mental health services to adolescents and adults. After graduation, she plans to pursue her clinical licensure to better serve her clients in a community, hospital, or school setting. She also highly enjoys contributing to research that supports effective and evidence-based interventions for clients.


Ana Vidina Hernández
Graduate Social Work Intern 

Ana is a graduate student pursuing a dual degree in the Master’s of Science in Social Work (MSSW) and Master of Arts (MA) in Latin American Studies. She is working with the immigrant population in Austin and in nearby detention centers. Ana is also interested in increasing resources and support for the undocumented community. As a result of her interest in qualitative and quantitative research, her clinical practice experience, and her love of teaching, Ana plans to pursue a PhD in Social Work in the future.


Veronic Kozaczka
Graduate Research Assistant

Veronic is a second-year graduate student pursuing a Master’s of Science in Social Work (MSSW) with a clinical emphasis. Veronica is interested in working with survivors of intimate partner violence. Her research interests include intergenerational trauma, domestic violence, and how those affect families, specifically families who have emigrated from Eastern Europe. After graduating in May, she plans on continuing to work with survivors of intimate partner violence and working towards a Ph.D. in social work.



Daniela Laguado
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Daniela is a senior Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) student at The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. After graduating in May, she is interested in becoming a critical care nurse caring for adult patients in the Surgical, Trauma, and Cardiac Intensive Care units. Long term, she also plans on becoming a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia (DNAP) with a focus on improving pain management.


Carolina Miranda
Graduate Research Assistant

Carolina is from Monterrey, Mexico. Currently she is a graduate school student at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs in the University of Texas at Austin. She is expecting to get her Master’s in Global Policy Studies in May of 2019. She graduated from the University of Monterrey with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies in 2016. She has experience doing academic research in migration policy, women and gender issues, and human rights.


Lynn Murphy
Graduate Research Assistant

Lynn is currently a graduate student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, pursuing a career in social policy. She graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in Political Science and Sociology before moving to Austin. A former Special Education teacher at AISD, she is passionate about policy issues including immigration, education, and international policy. She also loves hiking, traveling, and donuts!


My Quach
Undergraduate Research Assistant

My is currently a junior Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Asian Studies with a focus on Chinese language at the University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys learning different languages and cultures. After conquering English, she is now spending time on learning Chinese and Korean. Her passion for languages drives her to become certified in teaching English to speakers of other languages. My is interested in policy issues on immigration, education and international diplomacy. After graduating in May of 2019, she plans to pursue a career in Human Resources management or immigration-related fields.


Shontell Smith
Graduate Research Assistant

Shontell is a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in School Psychology from the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests focus on the contextual factors that influence how children function emotionally, behaviorally, socially, and academically. Upon graduation, she intends to practice as a psychologist in the school setting, with the hopes of starting a clinic that partners with schools to provide mental health services and behavioral support for students, their teachers, and their families.