Dr. Aida Cuenza-Uvas
Mt. San Antonio College, Arise Director
Aida Cuenza-Uvas, Ed.D., provides leadership and direction for the Arise Program (AANAPISI), which offers academic counseling and advisement, culturally-relevant student development programming, and social support for Asian American and Pacific Islander students at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC). Prior to her current role, she coordinated the college’s High School Outreach program for twelve years, which served over fifty local feeder high schools and aided in their transition to the college. She began her educational journey at Mt. San Antonio College before transferring to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where she completed her undergraduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning. She earned her Master’s degree in Counseling, Student Development in Higher Education from Long Beach State University and her doctorate in Community College Leadership from California State University, Fullerton. Her dissertation, “Voices from the Pacific: Narratives of Pacific Islander Students Attending a California Community College,” which examined the perspectives of Pacific Islander students’ educational experiences, drew attention to the significance of representation and relationships in the educational setting. Her dissertation was awarded the 2020 Outstanding Student Scholarly and Creative Activity Award at CSU Fullerton under the School of Education. Dr. Cuenza-Uvas has also been directly involved in planning AANAPISI pre-conference meetings held at APAHE conferences, which pivoted to a series of virtual sessions referred to as the AANAPISI Community Forum (ACF) during the pandemic in 2020. Over the past decade she has presented at international, national, regional conferences on Asian American and Pacific Islander students and AANAPISI programming. She grounds her daily practice and interactions with students and the campus community in the lessons and wisdom that emanate from her cultural anchors and values.