Equity in education ensures that every student has access to quality learning resources regardless of race, gender, and social status. Our featured Haas alum for the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month is Guadalupe Nickell. She understands that students need specialized support to succeed in school and life. Guadalupe’s experiences as a student with a biracial heritage motivated her to address challenges in the public education system. She is a graduate of Berkeley Columbia EMBA at Haas School of Business. After establishing a career in the nonprofit sector, she went back to UC Berkeley as Assistant Dean for Development and External Relations at the Graduate School of Education.
Listen to this conversation on aligning professional experience in philanthropic work and leadership to address the barriers to equitable education.
What drives you to support fair access to quality education for students?
[00:01:59] “Growing up in Oakland, my parents always really drove home the importance of education. And I think all parents want the best for their kids. From an early age, the message was always, “Education is something that no one can ever take away.”
On working in the public education space
[00:16:45] “I’ve always been very curious about Berkeley as an engine of social mobility. The California public university system is a jewel and not many other states have invested in this way. And as someone who started my non-profit career, I really hit my stride when I started to align both my professional experience in philanthropy and in leadership, but then also drawing on that personal motivation and inspiration around the opportunity that education can provide and the doors that it can open. I found myself getting more and more drawn to that space.
The opportunity to work at this kind of scale within the public education system at the graduate school of education, where we are producing teachers and principals and researchers and policymakers, was just a really exciting opportunity to continue working in a space, but from a very different place.”