Ruth Cardenas is passionate about social equity, student access, and success in higher education. Growing up as the daughter of two Mexican immigrant parents in a rural white community, Ruth often felt out of place and a yearning to belong. While in college, Ruth found belonging through involvement in various cultural and academic organizations. She helped establish a Latinx leadership retreat and Latinx graduation at Iowa State University which continues today. Additionally, as a first-generation college student, she participated in TRIO Student Support Services and later the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. Both experiences were instrumental to her success in college and enrollment in graduate school.
Ruth holds a Bachelor of Science in Child, Adult and Family Services from Iowa State University and a Master 'of Arts in Human Development and family studies from the University of Missouri. While in her graduate program, Ruth studied the links between school bonding, discrimination, and academic outcomes in U.S. Latinx students. Her research interests fueled her to pursue a career in service of ensuring all students can be successful in higher education. Ruth began her career in higher education at Bottom Line Inc. as a College Success Advisor in Brooklyn, New York. There, she worked and advocated for students who were first-generation college students or from low-income backgrounds.
Ruth recently moved to the Twin Cities and is a TRIO Student Support Services Academic Adviser at the University of Minnesota. In this role, she continues to work with students and advocate for social equity, student access, and success in higher education.