Researcher, Applied Research & Equitable Evaluation
Marbella prides herself on being a social justice scholar whose research aims to achieve educational equity and excellence for all students and educators, especially those from historically marginalized backgrounds. She is driven to use research and service to create more equitable pathways for marginalized young people to excel in their academic and career trajectories by strengthening family-school-community relationships, diversifying the educator workforce, and developing safe spaces where students can thrive.
Marbella’s research focuses on the positive development of marginalized adolescents, including students who are immigrants and English learners, and the action that young people engage in to change inequitable systems. In her previous role as a researcher and program evaluator at the Illinois State Board of Education, Marbella collaborated with internal and external partners on agency decision-making and policy development. Specifically, she developed, conducted, and reported on research studies that evaluated district- and state-level recovery activities following the COVID-19 pandemic.
- M.A. and Ph.D., Community Psychology and Prevention Research, University of Illinois Chicago
- B.A., Psychology and Sociology (Option in Inequality and Diversity), California State University