Speeches & Presentations


Racial inequity

Dr. Estela Mara Bensimon was honored as a distinguished lecturer at the Claremont Colleges’ Center for Teaching & Learning; her presentation was entitled “Reframing the Production of Racial Inequity in the University as an Organizational Learning Problem” examining why systems and methodologies in place in higher education tend to perform better for white than marginalized groups.


Making Higher Education Just

Dr. Estela Mara Bensimon was the recipient of the 2017 AERA Social Justice in Education Award. The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a national research society, gives the annual award to honor individuals who have advanced social justice through their education research. Attendees of the 2017 AERA conference heard Dr. Bensimon’s social justice lecture, titled “Make Higher Education Just.”

“The Social Justice Action Award is different from most awards because it honors an individual who is not only a scholar, but also an activist.  We give the award to individuals who walk their talk.  Estela Bensimon exemplifies the characteristics of this award – thoughtful, demanding, passionate, and laser-focused on creating a more equitable world.” – Dr. William G. Tierney, Wilbur Kieffer Professor of Higher Education, University Professor & Co-director, Pullias Center for Higher Education


James Gray, Chair of Community College of Aurora’s Mathematics Department, presented “There’s Something Happening Here: Lessons on Transformative Mathematics Education from Colorado’s Equity in Excellence Project” at the MSRI’s developmental mathematics workshop on March 20, 2015.

On April 8, 2015, CUE’s Co-Director Estela Mara Bensimon presented to the California State Assembly’s Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance. She emphasized California’s need to set equity goals to monitor progress towards closing gaps experienced by African American, Latino/a, and Native Americans in student outcomes. She called for remedial education reform, clearer and more structured pathways to transfers and degrees, and a more modern approach to the professional development of faculty, staff, and administrators.

On February 27, 2015, Dr. Estela Bensimon presented the keynote address at the “Latina/o Students in Higher Education” forum sponsored by the César E. Chávez Institute’s Latino/a Educational Achievement Partnership (LEAP). Dr. Bensimon highlighted how inequality in higher education is a problem of institutional practices, structures, and policies. She also discussed the importance of being intentional about equity and presented strategies for advancing equity on college campuses.


On Wednesday, February 26, 2014, Dr. Estela Bensimon participated at the California State Senate Education Committee’s Joint Information Hearing on Accountability for Postsecondary Education Performance. Dr. Bensimon talked specifically about how to improve student access and success through greater participation by demographic groups, including low-income students who have historically participated at lower rates, greater completion rates by all students, and improved outcomes for graduates.

Dr. Bensimon’s remarks are available for download here.


Dr. Estela Bensimon joins a panel to discuss the paper “What’s Race Got To Do With It?” a commissioned paper written by herself and Dr. Alicia Dowd in response to the 2013 AREA theme of race and poverty.

This video accompanies the The Role of Institutional Agents in Promoting Transfer Access, written by Alicia Dowd, Jenny Pak and Estela Bensimon as part of EPAA/AAPE’s Special Issue on The American Community College in the 21st Century, Guest Edited by Dr. Jeanne M. Powers and Amelia M. Topper.


Equity, Inquiry, Organizational Learning and Leadership

Bensimon, E.M. (2011). “Appropriating Social Science Research Methods to Develop Equity-Directed High Impact Practices.” Plenary speech. 2011 AAC&U Institute on High Impact Practices and Student Success. Burlington, VT. June 15, 2011.

Center for Urban Education. (2011). “Equity and Student Success Symposium.” Presentation at the 2011 Center for Urban Education Equity & Student Success Symposium, Los Angeles, CA.

Lundquist, S., Huebsch, M. & Castillo, R. (2011). “Santa Ana College: A Brief Review of Our Equity and Student Success Work in Context.” Presentation at the 2011 Center for Urban Education Equity & Student Success Symposium, Los Angeles, CA.

Bensimon, E.M. and Prescott, B. (2011). “We Have Goals… Now What?: Using Data to Achieve Equity in Educational Outcomes.”Plenary speech. SHEEO/NCES Network Conference & IPEDS Workshop. San Francisco, CA. May 6, 2011.


Bordoloi Pazich, L. & Chase, M. (2011). “Incentives for Students to Transfer: A Critical Analysis.” Presentation at the 2011 Annual American Educational Research Association (AERA) Meeting, New Orleans, LA.


Dowd, A.C. (2011). “Developing a Social Science of Institutional Support to Increase Latina and Latino STEM Degrees.” Plenary speech. Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI) Meeting. San Juan, PR. March 27, 2011.

Dowd, A.C. (2011).“Becoming Institutional Change Agents in STEM.” Keynote speech. NSF Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP) Grantees Meeting. Washington, D.C. March 17, 2011.


Equity, Inquiry, Organizational Learning and Leadership
Bensimon, E.M. (2010). “Preserving Equity in Tough Times.” Plenary speech. WICHE Semi-Annual Meeting. Portland, OR. May 18, 2010.

Dowd, A.C. and Bensimon, E.M. (2010). “Brokering Transfer Equity: The Role of Institutional Agents.” Keynote speech. Promoting Successful Transfer Students Workshop at Whittier College. Whittier, CA. May 24, 2010.


Bensimon, E.M. (2010). “Promoting Latina and Latino Success at Hispanic Serving Institutions.” Keynote speech. Fifth Annual American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) Conference. Costa Mesa, CA. March 4, 2010.


Dowd, A.C. (2010). “Broadening Participation in STEM.” Testimony before the House Subcommittee on Research and Science Education of the Science and Technology Committee. Washington, D.C. March 16, 2010.

Dowd, A.C. and Bensimon, E. M. (2010, March). Pathways to STEM Bachelor’s and Graduate Degrees for Hispanic Students and the Role of Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Presented at the NSF STEP Grantees Meeting, Arlington, VA.



Dowd, A.C. (2009). “Leaders, Heroes, Coordinators, Activists: Building Institutional STEM Capacity in HSIs through Networks.” Presentation at an outreach forum sponsored by the Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Bensimon, E.M. Dowd, A.C., & Davila, B. (2009). Dimensions of the “transfer choice” gap: Experiences of Latina and Latino students who navigated transfer pathways. Presented at the American Sociological Association, San Francisco, CA.

Dowd, A.C., Chase M., Bordoloi Pazich, L. & Bensimon, E.M. (2009). “Formulating Equity in State Transfer Policy: An Analysis of Seven States.” Presentation at the 34th Annual Association for the Study of Higher Education.