As Director of College Success for the Denver Scholarship Foundation, Dr. Zuniga McDowell manages college partnerships, college success services, the DSF Scholarship and evaluation of DSF Scholar outcomes. She has 15 years of college access and higher education administrative and teaching experience.
Prior to joining DSF, Dr. Zuniga McDowell served as the Director of the Center for Academic Access and Opportunity at Suffolk University in Boston, Mass., where she led the institution’s TRIO programs and other college access initiatives, and was a graduate lecturer in the Psychology Department. Previously, Dr. Zuniga McDowell also served as the Director of Research and Evaluation for two national non-profits, TERI (The Education Resources Institute) and Citizen Schools. In these roles she developed and led various multi-program, multi-site, large-scale college access program evaluations of both TRIO and non-TRIO programs.
Dr. Zuniga McDowell also worked at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the Program Director for “Learning to Teach, Learning to Serve,” a service-learning teacher education initiative, and taught graduate courses in the School of Education. Her research interests revolve around family, community, and institutional influencers on at-risk and underrepresented students’ college access and success.
A member of the inaugural editorial board for the new Journal of College Access, Dr. Zuniga McDowell’s work has also been published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching and the Handbook of Latinos and Education: Theory, Research, and Practice and she is one of the authors of the Evaluation Toolkit: Effective Tools for Evaluating Outreach Programs and Practice produced by the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education.