About Me


See also FSU faculty page


Ph.D.        University of Chicago
M.A.         University of Chicago
B.A.          Wesleyan University

Dr. Lara Perez-Felkner is an Associate Professor of Higher Education and Sociology in the Higher Education Program within the College of Education at Florida State University. She is also an Affiliated Faculty member in the Department of Sociology, and Senior Research Associate with FSU’s Center for Postsecondary Success. Additional affiliations include the HOPE center for College, Community, and Justice; Pathways to Adulthood, and Network Gender and STEM. She is actively engaged in and has held various roles in AERA, ASHE, and other professional societies.

Her research uses developmental and sociological perspectives to examine how young people’s social contexts influence their college and career outcomes. She focuses on the mechanisms that shape entry into and persistence in institutions and fields in which they have traditionally been underrepresented. In particular, she investigates racial-ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic disparities in post-secondary educational attainment and entry to scientific career fields. Dr. Perez-Felkner co-edited and authored a New Directions in Institutional Research volume on undergraduate women in STEM and a special issue in International Journal for Gender, Science, and Technology. She is currently leading an edited book project on Latinx Engineering and serves on the editorial boards of Educational Researcher, the Journal of Higher Education, the Journal of Postsecondary Success, and Sociology of Education.

Published work appears in journals including: About Campus, Developmental Psychology, Frontiers in Psychology, International Journal of Educational Development, Journal of Higher Education, Journal of Latinos and Education, and Teachers’ College Record, as well in several edited volumes. She has over forty publications to date, and has been supported by external funders including the National Science Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. Her research has been covered in news outlets including ABC News and National Public Radio affiliates, Bustle, the Conversation, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Salon, Science News for Students, and U.S. News and World Report

Dr. Perez-Felkner has professional experience in Student Affairs as well. At the University of Chicago, she served as a Resident Head in the College from 2006-2012 and on an NSF AGEP-supported Social Sciences Division Taskforce on Diversity for the Professoriate. Prior to graduate school, she was a post-placement counselor for grade 7-10 students with Prep for Prep, helping underrepresented students transition to magnet schools and private day and boarding college preparatory schools. While earning her B.A. at Wesleyan University, she also worked in residence life, admissions, and student leadership.

At FSU, she has been active in the Latinx Faculty and Staff Collective at Florida State, a member of the APLU IChange ASPIRE alliance team, and a member of the President’s Council for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and is now a Mid-Career Fellow with FSU-FAMU’s Institutional Challenge Grant (2022-25). She is currently putting equity work into practice in research as a Student Experience Research Network (SERN) Mid-Career Fellow and Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, & Mixed Methodologies (ICQCM) NSF Quantitative Critical Methodologies Scholar.

Dr. Perez-Felkner teaches graduate courses in Student Development Theory, Sociology of Education, Sociology of Higher Education, Higher Education Outcomes Assessment, and Applied Education Policy Analysis. Impressed by the enthusiasm and caliber of FSU students, she has and continues to mentor and support students in collaborative research on higher education pathways to degrees and careers. She values the integration of teaching, mentoring, and research. Since joining the faculty, she has been a 2015, 2021, and 2022 finalist for the FSU College of Education’s Robert M. Gagne Research Award, and has received FSU’s Transformation through Teaching Award (2014), Hardee Center’s Supervisor/Mentor Award (2016), FSU Graduate Faculty Mentor Award (2019), FSU College of Education’s Graduate Teaching Award (2021), and FSU’s Inclusive Graduate Teaching and Advising Award (2022). 

Email: lperezfelkner at fsu dot edu
Twitter: @perezfelkner
Office phone: (850) 645-8450