Nicole A. Perez (Ph.D., Sociology, University of Notre Dame) is a postdoctoral researcher in the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Academic Programs at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her research focuses on student success initiatives to understand and improve the retention and graduation rates across UIC.
Nicole’s dissertation investigated how Latino adolescents were navigating the transition to postsecondary education, entry to the labor market and general life course transitions within a new immigrant receiving context. Using qualitative methods and drawing on life course theory, she examined how a new Latino immigrant context shapes the transition to adulthood to better understand how Latino young adults navigate educational, labor market, and familial decisions with a particular focus on perceptions of opportunity, mobility, and immigrant incorporation processes. In addition to developing a longitudinal design to the dissertation data, she continues to collaborate with Professor Amy Langenkamp on projects related to the growing Latino population across Indiana.