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Kizzy Lopez, Ed.D.

School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences

Education history

  • Ed.D., Higher Education Leadership, Azusa Pacific University
  • PPSC, Pupil Personnel Credential, National University
  • M.S., Educational Counseling, National University
  • B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, National University


Interest areas

  • Foster care
  • Research
  • Intersectionality of race and gender

Major teaching areas

  • Introduction to social science research
  • Thesis

Dr. Kizzy Lopez is an Assistant Professor in Social Work. She has 13 years of experience in academic and student affairs as a advocate for educational equity for underrepresented students, particularly those who have experienced foster care or homelessness.

Dr. Lopez is a speaker on educational equity, foster care, and race. She is a TEDx speaker on the topic, The Trauma of Being Black in Foster Care. Dr. Lopez has recently co-authored publications focused on strategies to support college-going foster youth, including Transitional-Age Foster Youth: Getting Them Into and Through College and forthcoming Fostering Success: Supporting College-Going Foster Youth on Campus. She has been previously recognized for her contributions and received Fresno’s Heroes Unmasked Award, Rosa Parks Award, Child Advocacy Award, and Diversity and Social Justice Advocate Award.

Isaiah 1:17 has been an important scripture that would guide her practice and scholarship. "Learn to do right, seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow."

Selected works

  • Lopez, K. and Gamez, S.I., (2020, February). A faith-based perspective: Serving college-going foster youth on campus. Riverside, CA: National Association of Christian Social Workers State Conference.
  • Gamez, S.I. & Lopez, K. (Accepted). Fostering success: Programs and practices to serve college-going foster youth on campus. In G. Martin and S. Ardoin (Eds.), Social Class Supports: Examples of Programs and Practices to Serve Poor and Working-Class Students in Higher Education. Stylus Publishing.
  • Lopez, K., Amechi, M. H., Whitman, K. L., Hoffman, A., Bennett, J., Sarubbi, M., and Gamez, S.I., (2018, November). Understanding family privilege: Fostering inclusive postsecondary environments for alumni of foster care. Tampa, FL: 2018 Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.
  • Hoffman, A., Lopez, K., Bennett, J., & Tinker, B. (2018, March). Fostering inclusion: The implementation of a faculty/staff mentor program for college-going foster youth. Philadelphia, PA: 2018 National Association of Student Personnel Administration.
  • Whitman, K., & Lopez, K. (2017, November). Towards leveling the playing field: Insights on the college-going experiences of foster care alumni. Houston, TX: 2017 Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.
  • Lopez, K. & Duran, B. (2016). Transitional age foster youth–Getting them into and through college. Fresno, CA: Central Valley Higher Education Consortium.
  • Kim, Y., Edens, D., Espinoza Parra, O., & Lopez, K. (2015). Sense of belonging among undergraduate students of color at predominantly White religious-based institutions. In B. Jackson Glimps and T. N. Ford (Eds.), Gender and Diversity Issues in Religious-Based Institutions and Organizations. IGI Global Publisher.
  • Lopez, K., Whitman, K., & Velez Young-Alfaro, M. (2017, November). Foster care alumni and family privilege: Perspectives and practices inside college programs. Houston, TX: 2017 Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.
  • Amechi, M. H., Gross, J., Gupton, J., Lopez, K., & Whitman, K. (2016, November). A forum on critical issues affecting foster youth in higher education: Cultivating a scholarly agenda and community of scholars. Columbus, OH: 2016 Annual conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.
  • Kim, Y., Edens, D., Lopez, K. & Espinoza Parra, O. (2015, April). Sense of belonging among students of color at faith-based colleges and universities: A comparison with white counterparts. Chicago, IL: 2015 Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association.

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