Invited Speaker Presentations


Cultural Responsive Strategies in STEM

Presenter: Paloma Vargas, Assistant Professor (Biology) and Director, HSI Initiatives California Lutheran University

This session will cover strategies to increase culturally responsive teaching in STEM disciplines. The speaker will provide examples, resources, and information on how to make curricular content more relevant to increasingly diverse student populations.

About Paloma Vargas

Paloma Vargas is an Assistant Professor of Biology and the Director of Hispanic-Serving Institute (HSI) Initiatives. Paloma worked on her undergraduate degree at the El Paso Community College (EPCC) and received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Texas at El Paso. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Medical and Molecular Parasitology from The Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Institute where she studied parasitic diseases. In 2013, Paloma completed her post doc at Northwestern University in Chicago where she studied Legionnaires disease. She has served as an 8-12 educator, a grant writer and STEM advisor. Her science research still focuses on infectious diseases. As Director of HSI Initiatives, Paloma's work on campus focuses on being the liaison between all departments and divisions at Cal Lutheran on issues of equity and accessibility. Her goal is to address issues of justice, equity, and access in higher education for minoritized and underserved groups. Much of her area of focus as Director of HSI is in breaking down systemic barriers & policies that disproportionately affect the success of marginalized groups within the higher education system.



View the Full Program


About the Conference

The annual AHSIE Best Practices Conference provides practitioners from current and emerging Hispanic Serving Institutions a forum through which they can share ideas, build partnerships, and influence the development of policies designed to increase student success and institutional effectiveness.

Learn more


Session Types for Everyone

Session types for this year’s conference include: Featured Topic Institutes; High Impact Practices Presentations; Community of Practice Workshops; Special Topic Sessions with Invited Speakers; and Keynotes.

Learn more