Michelle Lopez, Senior Assistant Dean for Student Success
Pronouns:  She/Her


Michelle Lopez is Senior Assistant Dean in Faculty Advancement & Student Success (FASS). Previously she directed the Minority Biomedical Research Support/Initiative for Maximizing Student Development program in the College of Sciences where she led the program to achieve an 89% success rate of undergraduates enrolling in biomedical/behavioral science doctoral programs and built a blueprint for the College of Sciences to mentor/advise/engage STEM students academicaily and professionally.  Identifying with the first-generation college student experience, Michelle is a daughter of immigrant Filipino parents. She received her baccalaureate degree in Biology, Masters in Educational Leadership, Postsecondary Administration and is a Doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership.

Michelle‚Äôs research interests include post-transfer student success, building a diverse transfer receptive culture, access and success of underserved college student populations; and Filipina/o/x student retention in higher education. Her dissertation research will examine Filipina/o/x Post-Transfer Student Experiences at a Four-Year University. 

Michelle has 20 years of practitioner experience with programs to engage diverse students in academic scholarships, high-impact enrichment opportunities, major exploration, aligning major choice with strengths and interests, and early preparation for graduate study. 

In her role, Michelle is responsible for a broad range of matters related to student retention, reenrollment, advising, engagement and achievement. Her work with the broader First-gen student population led to earning SDSU's First-Gen Forward Advisory Status, as recognized by NASPA. Her work with the broader transfer student community and leading Transfer Academic Engagement was also highlighted in the CSU Student Success Network case study and presented to the San Jose State University Student Affairs Summer Institute on how to proactively engage and support transfer students (Spring 2021). 

Michelle represents SDSU on the Advisory Board for the CSU Success Network and the CSU Systemwide Monthly Advising Meetings. Recent professional presentations include an abstract submission to NASPA about SDSU's Reenrollment Intiative (2023), Transfers Matter at NASPA (June 2021), First-Gen Success at the CSU Student Success Network Virtual Conference (September/October 2020) and Building a Culture of Transfer Student Engagement & Excellence at the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (February 2021).  

Michelle served on the Filipino American Advisory Committee, a team of Filipino educational leaders dedicated to strengthening  the Filipino student P-20 educational pathway.  She also served on the board for the Fiipinos of Southbay Exhibit, showcasing at the Chula Vista Public Library. She is dedicated to mentoring new and continuing Filipina/o/x students at SDSU who transition from the local service area, out of state, or who are international students, regardless of major and level. 

Diverse students mentored by Michelle are enrolled in top graduate programs across the nation, have completed their graduate degrees, were awarded national scholarships or fellowships, and are currently employed in higher education, or STEM industry and other professions.