Lorelle L. Espinosa is the vice president for research at ACE. She is responsible for developing the organization’s thought leadership and research agenda and for ensuring a consistent evidence base across ACE’s array of programs and services. With more than 20 years of experience in higher education practice, policy, and research, Espinosa is a national voice on issues pertaining to college access and success for diverse populations and on the role of equity-minded leadership in postsecondary settings.
Her current research includes a three-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to examine race and ethnicity in higher education, and multiple collaborations with scholars from around the country to translate important academic research for policy and practitioner audiences. The latter includes a groundbreaking 2018 report on lessons learned from the University of Missouri’s 2015-16 racial crisis and the campus’s road to recovery.
During her time at ACE, Espinosa published a seminal study examining how legal challenges to race-conscious policies influence contemporary admissions practices at selective colleges around the country, which was cited in several amicus briefs to the United States Supreme Court and advanced understanding of diversity-focused policy and law. Subsequent work examined the role of leadership in campus racial climate and on the tension between campus inclusion and freedom of expression, leading to national dialogue on the role of presidential and cabinet-level leadership in these critical areas. [read full bio on the ACE website]