Yolanda Barnes
University of Houston, Graduate Research Assistant

Yolanda Barnes is a scholar-activist and proud native Houstonian. She is currently a full time Ph.D. student at the University of Houston studying Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. As a researcher, Yolanda is looking at the ways in which federal and state policies unintentionally create college access barriers for underserved student populations. Additionally, she is exploring the stigma that is often associated with attending a community college and the equitable pathways towards college affordability through sustainable resources and financial support. Professionally, she served as a leadership educator at Loyola University Chicago and the University of Houston-Clear Lake. As an educator, Yolanda worked closely with students to provide space and opportunity to explore their leadership potential, social identities, and calling to be justice-centered leaders. Yolanda also worked in Washington, D.C. for the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), as their Coordinator for Student and New Professional Initiatives.

Yolanda graduated from Texas A&M University (Whoop!) with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Educational Administration. In her spare time, she enjoys reconnecting with the city that raised her, being a “cool aunt” to her nephew, watching soap operas with her grandmother, traveling, and fighting against the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.