Irene Gómez, Ed.M., is an IDRA research engagement strategist. Through her strengths in student engagement, policy advocacy and mixed methods analysis, Ms. Gómez coordinates research initiatives across the organization. Key parts of her portfolio include youth-led movements and education justice in the U.S. South, as she leads IDRA’s training and development for K-12 ethnic studies and LGBTQ student support.
Ms. Gómez’s six years in the education field began as a student. At the University of Texas, she collaborated closely with immigrant, refugee and asylee communities; Title I schools; and first-in-family college students as a bilingual writing coach and volunteer coordinator. These relationships, and her own experience as a child of immigrants, drove her motivation to impact education policy and research. As a research assistant for three university-affiliated centers, Ms. Gómez contributed to and conducted mixed method studies on ethnic and racial equity measures in education.
After graduating from the University of Texas with a bachelor’s in sociology, Ms. Gómez’s time as a congressional fellow and education professional deepened her commitment to supporting critically conscious and culturally-sustaining classrooms. Some of her major projects included designing and evaluating a federal assessment of Every Student Succeeds Act state report cards, co-authoring the Children’s Defense Fund–Texas’ 2019 civic engagement report, and revamping research-informed curriculum for the youth organization, Vocal Justice.
Ms. Gómez first joined the IDRA team as a research fellow while completing her master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her fellowship and graduate studies, she worked to center Black communities in K-12 Mexican American and Latino Studies and across curricula. As a full-time staff member, Ms. Gómez is excited to continue supporting young people through student-led and -centered research to foster the collective futures they dream of.