First-Generation Initiative Mustang Scholars

Cesar Quezada joins SMU as the inaugural director of Mustang Scholars and the First-Generation Initiative

Student Academic Engagement & Success (SAES) is excited to announce Cesar Quezada as the inaugural director of Mustang Scholars and the First-Generation Initiative effective August 29.

Quezada brings his experience with first-generation students, cohort-based mentorship programs, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and undocumented students to the Hilltop. He is a first-generation college student and DACA recipient originally from Durango, Mexico who earned a degree in psychology from Texas A&M University-Commerce.  In his previous roles, he has been the associate director of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Division at Creighton University and assistant director for the Multicultural Center at the University of North Texas.

When asked about what he is most excited about, Quezada remarked “I am very excited to get to campus and begin working with everyone in order to start to impact students as soon as possible. The opportunity to get to work with Dr. Grabsch, the Mustang Scholars, and the large group of first-generation students is what has led me to take this opportunity.”

Quezada’s platform as a higher education professional gives him the advantage to incorporate both the student perspectives and needs into this overall work which includes teaching others what they can do in order to help and better serve first-generation student communities at their institutions. Since his undergraduate years, he has also been a part of various professional associations where he has presented at state and national conferences, among them the NatDC’s Diversity in Leadership Conference, NCORE, Excelencia in Education, and participating in Men of Color Consortiums hosted by Project Males out of the University of Texas at Austin. He also has received national recognition for his work from Excelencia in Education.

Please join us in welcoming Cesar Quezada to the SAES team!