We are pleased to introduce María Barragán as our inaugural director of the Dream Center. She will have a dual reporting line and maintain close connections to both Academic and Student Affairs to better support students. Her first day is July 10, 2023.
In this role, Director Barragán will build LMU’s inaugural Dream Center from the ground up by creating a formalized space for our undocumented students and ensuring their academic, emotional, and personal well-being. This new space will be in Daum Hall on the second floor and will share space and collaborate with the Academic Resource Center (including the First To Go program), Disability Support Services, Ignacio Student Support Services TRiO program, and the Katz Family Academic Learning Skills program. Her goal is to raise awareness about the different intersectionalities in the undocumented community.
Director Barragán has advocated for the immigrant community, particularly undocumented students in higher education, for the past 13 years. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, she was a first-generation and undocumented college student, and in 2021 became a naturalized citizen.
She was an inaugural staff member for three undocumented student support centers/programs and her expertise has created a foundation to help students thrive. She co-founded the first undocumented alumni chapter in the California State University system, was selected by Rep. Pete Aguilar as his honorary guest during the 2017 Joint Congressional Address, and received a 30 under 30 award from Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gomez Reyes.
Director Barragán earned a master’s degree in higher education in student affairs from the University of Redlands. She spent her undergraduate years studying communications at Chaffey College and CSU San Bernardino, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. As a creative, Director Barragán also hopes to archive the stories of non-traditional undocumented folx through podcasting. During her free time, she enjoys finding and visiting local coffee shops, gardens, bookstores, and Undocu, LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC-led markets.
Thank you to our search committee (listed below) and all the campus community members who attended candidate sessions and provided valuable feedback in our search process.
Please join us in welcoming María to the Lion community!
José Badenes, S.J., Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
Terri Mangione, Ph.D.
Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Affairs
Dream Center Director Search Committee
José Badenes, S.J., Ph.D., Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
Terri Mangione, Ph.D., Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Affairs
- Natalie Aguilar, Katz Family Academic Learning Skills program
- Jacqueline Amparo, Ignacio Student Support Services TRiO program
- José García Moreno, School of Film and Television and Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination
- Jenni Mendez, Pam Rector Center for Service and Action
- Will Perez, LMU School of Education
- Lexie Pineda Soto, First To Go