Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Larry H. Ebbers


The primary purpose of this study was to determine, through interviews, what educational and socio-cultural characteristics Hispanic women leaders in higher education possess. This study also provides an outlet for four Hispanic women leaders to share their unique experiences and journeys during their rise to administration. They were able to share their perceptions of their own career paths. The results offer advice for other Hispanic women aspiring to ascend into leadership positions. The in-depth descriptions of their personal experiences provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the types of barriers associated with access to higher educational leadership positions. The findings of this study expand the current body of knowledge, contributing significant information about Hispanic female leaders;The research design of this study was qualitative, using inquiring interviews to unleash the stories of four Texan Hispanic women leaders. The findings were based on faceto-face interviews with the Dr. Margot Perez-Greene, Director of NISOD, Dr. Juliet Garcia, President of Southmost College and the University of Texas at Brownsville, Dr. Ana "Cha" Guzman, President of Palo Alto College, and Dr. Tessa Martinez Pollack, President of Our Lady of the Lake University. This qualitative study focused on five research questions: (1) What childhood or family background experiences and academic preparation did they have? (2) What career paths and patterns they have? (3) What were their perceived professional barriers? (4) Who were influential persons in their lives? and (5) What advice might they offer other Hispanic women wishing to become leaders in education? Each woman's unique story provided emerging themes using statements provided by the women themselves. The uniqueness of their stories deserved their own chapter in this dissertation. The syntheses of their emerging themes are displayed in the form of a matrix chart;This study provided a voice to Margot's, Juliet's, Tessa's, and Cha's life stories---Hispanic women seeking leadership positions in higher education can comprehend what four women experienced and in their own way apply it in their attempt to reach a similar level of educational leadership. Further research is recommended to include the life stories of additional Hispanic female leaders in other states across the nation to identify shared characteristics and emerging themes.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Lyvier Leffler Aschenbrenner



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

146 pages