Christina Quintanilla-Muñoz, M.Ed., is a research analyst at IDRA, where she formerly served as an executive research and evaluation intern and as an Education Policy Fellow. She designs and conducts quantitative and qualitative research and evaluations that inform educational practice and policy. She works cross-functionally to deliver timely formative and summative evaluations of education and demographic data to support the work of IDRA and our projects and initiatives.
Ms. Muñoz is currently a doctoral student in applied demography at UTSA, where she conducts research on educational inequities and health disparities. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2018 and her master’s in educational psychology, with a specialization in quantitative methods, from the University of Texas at Austin in 2021. Prior to coming to IDRA, Ms. Muñoz worked in education for six years as a university-level peer mentor, student tutor, substitute teacher with Northside ISD, and graduate teaching assistant in statistics at the University of Texas at Austin.
As a fellow in the inaugural cohort of IDRA’s Education Policy Fellows program, she led mixed-methods research on the digital divide in Texas – a longstanding, systemic issue that made a dramatic impact on schools’ engagement of students and their families during the COVID-pandemic. Additionally, she lent her expertise in mixed-methods research design to help train student researchers who led youth action research at IDRA in 2020 to elicit the lived experiences and insights of their peers about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their learning.
Results from her independent research and IDRA’s student-led research informed critical policy recommendations IDRA advocated for during the 87th Texas legislative session.
Through her research and advocacy work at IDRA and in her academic program, Ms. Muñoz aims to promote access and equity for underserved students of color through her digital divide research. Specifically, she hopes to increase community access to data on the systemic racial and socioeconomic inequities that undergird the digital divide and help shape policies through her research that would expand access to broadband Internet in Texas. She co-wrote Digital Destination – Texas Needs Broadband Connectivity for All Students & Families, an issue brief that addresses the gaps within race, region and socioeconomic status for students and families connectivity to the Internet. And she wrote IDRA’s report, Plugged in, Tuned Out – A First Examination of Student Engagement Patterns in Texas Public Schools During COVID-19, makeing clear that, in many parts of Texas, student disengagement during the pandemic was a direct result of limited broadband access.
In her free time, Christina mentors high school youth who aspire to pursue independent scholarly research and integrates equity-based research practices in her training with students. When she is not mentoring youth, she is either CrossFit training, bonding with her twin Bombay cats, or cuddling up to her favorite DC comic book!
Christina feels blessed to begin her career at IDRA, where her work family will continue to nurture her passions for research and equity advocacy.
- Student Health and Engagement Response to COVID-19 in Texas, August 06, 2021
- Mental Health Implications of Virtual Learning on Student Engagement, March 31, 2021
- Digital Divide Directly Impacted Student-School Engagement During COVID-19, March 31, 2021