Lizeth Bañuelos graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2021 with a majori in Applied Developmental Psychology and two minors, one in Race and Culture Studies, the other in Chicana/o/x Studies. Her research interests surround the psychology of the Latinx community and discovering best practices for serving underserved populations. Lizeth completed an EWU McNair Summer Research Institute in the summer of 2020 under the mentorship of Dr. Aryn Ziehnert, Lecturer in the EWU Psychology Department. For this she focused on Latinx college students and their mental health in higher education institutions. She then went on to collaborate with former McNair Director Dra. Christina Torres García and fellow McNair Scholar Alexandria Coronado in the summer of 2021 on The Implication of COVID-19 for First-Generation, Low-Income Students in WA State, which they presented at Council for Opportunity in Education’s 40th Annual Conference.
Lizeth was accepted into the Master's Program in Counseling at California State University Bakersfield, the Master's Program in Counseling at City University, and the Master's Program in Counseling at Arizona State University, where she began attending in Fall 2021. Lizeth plans to go on to get her PhD in Counseling Psychology.
2020 McNair Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Aryn Ziehnert
Research Title: First-Generation Students' Academic Experience: The Role of Institutional Supports during a Pandemic
Abstract: The Latinx population has now become the largest minority group in the United States (Martínez & Rhodes, 2020). However, Latinx first-generation students still fall behind non-Latinx students in educational achievement. This study seeks to examine the Latinx first-generation academic experience amidst a pandemic, with an emphasis on looking at their perceived stress related to academics, their academic self-efficacy, and their knowledge/feelings toward the institutional supports. The roles of institutional and familial supports are examined as well as the factors contributing to the educational achievement gap including language, cultural barriers, socioeconomic status, lack of funding, lack of diverse faculty, lack of access to educational resources, and a lack of educational knowledge. The psychological effects that the educational gap has on Latinx first-generation students are also examined in terms of social emotions, stress and coping, and academic self-efficacy.