Where They’re Headed: Leslie Patricia Luqueño ’20

The anthropology major and education studies minor is in her first quarter at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in education.

Leslie Patricia Luqueño ’20 started graduate school this fall at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in education with a specialization in the sociology of education. Her research aims to create a conceptual framework for viewing second-generation immigrant students’ college journeys as migrations. 

“Particularly, I am interested in how the children of immigrants develop unique pockets of familial and experiential knowledge that help them survive and thrive at college institutions,” said Luqueño. 

She began this research in her senior thesis. In her thesis, “Following my Migrant Legacy: Toward an Autoethnographic Framework that Reimagines the Transition to College as a Migration,” she wrote about her own journey from Bell Gardens, Calif., to Haverford College and theorized it as a migration.    

“My work in courses like ‘Chicana Ethnography’ with Dr. Juli Grigsby, ‘Applying Anthropological Methods in Policy’ with Dr. Puneet Sahota at UPenn, and the senior thesis seminar with Dr. Zolani Ngwane, propelled me to use my own lived experiences and familial history as a source of knowledge for my thesis,” said Luqueño. 

Currently editing sections of her thesis to publish in her first graduate school article, she is already the co-author of a published book chapter written in partnership with Bryn Mawr Professor Alison Cook-Sather.  Luqueño and Cook-Sather are also co-authoring a book coming out next year, Promoting Equity and Justice through Pedagogical Partnership. 

Luqueño did not see herself pursuing a doctoral degree when she began at Haverford, but her experiences as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow (MMUF), which supports students from under-represented backgrounds who are interested in careers in academia, changed her perspective. 

“My participation in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship is what exposed me to the graduate school path to begin with,” she said. “It is the main reason I could see myself at an institution like Stanford.”

Her experiences with academic courses, research outside of Haverford, and work on her thesis reaffirmed her desire to do research. 

“I began seeing myself as someone who could change the higher education space and push the field into recognizing the knowledge that immigrant families provide their children that can be applied to college settings,” said Luqueño. “Moreover, my professors and mentors gave me the confidence I needed to apply to graduate school during my senior year, and through support from MMUF and LIFTFAR, I was able to fund my application process and eventually, receive 10 graduate school acceptances.”

After graduating with her Ph.D., her goal is to become a professor and continue research on second-generation immigrant’s experiences in higher education

“I believe that through my education at both Haverford and Stanford, I will emerge into the professoriate as someone who can revolutionize higher education literature and further represent immigrant communities and communities of color,” she said. “My ultimate goal is to become the president of a college and bring institutional and structural change to higher education to make it a more equitable space for students from marginalized backgrounds.”

“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series chronicling the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.