The Impact of Immigrant Students’ Critical Consciousness on Higher-Education Outcomes

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 4:45pm

Germán A. Cadenas studies the link between the development of critical consciousness and Hispanic DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students’ intent to persist at public universities.

During a time of political unrest in his homeland of Venezuela, a young Germán Cadenas accompanied his mother and brother to Arizona, where his father was working to send money back home to support the family. “We came just to be with my father for Christmas,” he says. “We wanted to see him and be together.”

When the turmoil in Venezuela worsened, Cadenas and his family decided to overstay their visas, joining the ranks of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. 

“There was no way for us to adjust our immigration status,” he says. “There was no pathway to enter, even to apply for immigration status, for asylum. We didn’t qualify.”

Cadenas, now married, a U.S. citizen and an assistant professor of counseling psychology, studies the psychology of undocumented immigrants and underrepresented minorities. His early experiences inform his work. 

Research Focus: 
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Field of Expertise: 
Social Justice Activism and Advocacy