Sylvia Mendez, Ph.D.

Sylvia Mendez portrait

Sylvia Mendez, Ph.D.

Department Chair, Associate Professor,
Leadership, Research, and Foundations (LRF)
College of Education

1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway 
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Dr. Sylvia Mendez is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Leadership, Research, and Foundations at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Dr. Mendez’s research centers on the educational attainment and schooling experiences of Mexican descent youth in the mid-20th century and higher education student success. She teaches foundations and research courses in the Inclusive Early Childhood Education BI Program, Inclusive Elementary Education BA Program, Leadership MA Programs, and the Educational Leadership, Research, and Policy PhD Program.


Ph.D. Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
University of Kansas - 2007

M.S., Student Affairs in Higher Education
Colorado State University - 2003

B.A., Economics
Washington State University - 2001


LEAD 1000 Historical, Philosophical, and Sociological Foundations of Education

LEAD 5600 Social Foundations of Educational Trends

LEAD 5610 Social Foundations of Higher Educational Trends

LEAD 5700 Introduction to Research and Statistics

LEAD 7600 Doctoral Research Lab

LEAD 8600 American and Comparative Foundations of Education


Selected Publications

  • Witkowsky, P., Kumm, C., Mendez, S. L., Kling, H., Ogunbowo, O., & Morris, P. (2016). Comparing military-connected and non-military connected students' orientation experiences. The Journal of College Orientation and Transition, 24(1), 78-83.
  • Mendez, S. L., Wehrman, J. D., & Williams, R. (2016). Exploring school counseling and principal candidate internships: Observations of the principal-counselor relationship. The Field Experience Journal, 18, 71-93.      
  • Witkowsky, P., Mendez, S. L., Clayton, G., Ogunbowo, O., & Hernandez, N. (2016). Non- traditional student needs: Collegiate inclusion perceptions. Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 64(1), 30-41. 
  • Martinez, S. L., Hernandez, N., Clayton, G., Elsey, S., & Lahrman, H. (2014). Walking the walk: Student expectations of faculty in the classroom. Understanding & Dismantling Privilege, 4(1), 60-76. 
  • Martinez, S. L. M., & Rury, J. L. (2012). From "culturally deprived" to "at risk": The politics of popular expressions and educational inequality in the United States, 1960-1985. Teachers College Record, 114(6), 8-39. 
  • Martinez, S. L. M. (2012). Duality and tension for a university registrar: A modern-day lesson for academic and student affairs. College and University, 87(3), 67-70.

Selected Presentations

  • Witkowsky, P., Mendez, S. L., Morris, P., Parker, J., Kling, H., & Brosseau, J. (2016). Student veterans experience in a veteran's transition seminar. Paper presented at the 2016 Annual Convention of the American College Personnel Association, Montreal, Canada. 
  • Broido, E., Johnson, V., Kretovics, M., Mendez, S. L., Sisneros, K., & Witkowsky, P. (2016). Student affairs preparation program short-term study abroad course development panel. Panel presentation at the 2016 Annual Convention of the American College Personnel Association, Montreal, Canada. 
  • Witkowsky, P., Mendez, S. L., Kumm, C., & Kling, H. (2015). Comparison of vet vs. non-vet orientation experience. Poster presented at the 2015 NODA Annual Conference in  Denver, CO.  
  • Conley, V. M., Mendez, S. L., Haynes, C., & Gerhardt, R. A. (2015). A mentoring and advocacy networking paradigm: Pairing URM and emeriti engineering faculty. Paper presented at the 2015 University of New Mexico Mentoring Institute, Albuquerque, NM. 
  • Mendez, S. L., Arnold, C., Ervajec, P., & Lopez, L. (2014). Is emotional intelligence a predictor of retention? Paper presented at the 2014 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD. 
  • Martinez, S. L. M., Arnold, C., Ervajec, P., & Lopez, L. (2014). Emotional intelligence as a predictor of academic retention for probationary students. Poster presented at the 2014 Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience, San Diego, CA.



  • 2014-Present          Faculty Advisory Committee on Budget/Budget Advisory Board Member
  • 2014-Present          Auxiliary Services Appeals Committee Member
  • 2013-Present          Compass Inclusiveness Advisory Group Member
  • 2013-Present          Graduate Executive Committee Member
  • 2013-Present          Fraternity and Sorority Greek Life Advisory Board Member
  • 2012-Present          Sexual Harassment Advisory Board Member
  • 2008-Present         Asian Pacific Islander Student Union Faculty Advisor
  • 2007-Present         Faculty Minority Affairs Committee Member