Sylvia Mendez, PhD

Image of Dr. Sylvia Mendez

Sylvia Mendez, PhD

Professor and Department Chair; Leadership, Research, and Foundations
College of Education

Biographical Information

Dr. Sylvia Mendez is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Leadership, Research, and Foundations at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Dr. Mendez’s research centers on the educational attainment and schooling experiences of Mexican descent youth in the mid-20th century, creating optimal higher education environments for student success, and effective faculty mentoring practices in engineering academia. She teaches foundations and research courses in the Inclusive Early Childhood Education BI Program, Inclusive Elementary Education BA Program, Leadership MA Programs, and the Educational Leadership, Research, and Policy PhD Program.


Ph.D. Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
University of Kansas - 2007

M.S., Student Affairs in Higher Education
Colorado State University - 2003

B.A., Economics
Washington State University - 2001


LEAD 1000 Historical, Philosophical, and Sociological Foundations of Education

LEAD 5600 Social Foundations of Educational Trends

LEAD 5610 Social Foundations of Higher Educational Trends

LEAD 5700 Introduction to Research and Statistics

LEAD 7600 Doctoral Research Lab

LEAD 8600 American and Comparative Foundations of Education

Publications and Presentations

Recent Publications

  • Mendez, S. L., Johanson, K., Conley, V. M., Gosha, K., Mack, N., Gerhardt, R. A., & Haynes, C. (2020). Supplementing future faculty mentoring: Doctoral engineering students’ satisfaction with and intent to use chatbots. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 15, 373-392.
  • Mendez, S. L., Ellis Frischmann, N., & Calhoun, L. (2020). Experience matters, but so do limited resources: Faculty perceptions of their self-efficacy and controllability in assessing student learning. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 20(8), 86-97.
  • Mendez, S. L., Tygret, J., Conley, V. M., Haynes, C., & Gerhardt, R. A. (2020). Exploring the mentoring needs of early- and mid-career URM engineering faculty. The Qualitative Report, 25(4), 1186-1203.
  • Mendez, S. L., Tygret, J., Johanson, K., Conley, V. M., Gosha, K., Gerhardt, R. A., & Haynes, C. (2019). Navigating a career in academia: Insights from emeriti engineering faculty. Journal of STEM Education Research, 27(4), 439-457.
  • Mendez, S. L., Arnold, C., Ervajec, P., & Lopez, L. (2019). Is emotional intelligence a predictor of persistence for students on academic probation? Journal of Student Affairs, 28, 107-120.
  • Mendez, S. L., Tygret, J., Keith, R., Conley, V. M., Haynes, C., & Gerhardt, R. A. (2019). Emeriti faculty as mentors: The benefits and rewards of mentoring the next generation. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 27(4), 439-457.
  • Mendez, S. L., Conley, V. M., Tygret, J., Gerhardt, R. A., & Haynes, C. (2019). Encore: Retired faculty as mentors. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 51(3), 59-61.             
  • Witkowsky, P., & Mendez, S. L. (2018). Influence of a short-term study abroad experience on professional competencies and career aspirations of students in student affairs professional preparation programs. Journal of College Student Development, Research in Brief, 59(6), 769-775.
  • Radigan, P., & Mendez, S. L. (2018). Historical research. In B. Frye (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of educational research, measurement and evaluation (pp. 783-785). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Mendez, S. L., Witkowsky, P., Morris, P., Brosseau, J., & Nicholson, H. (2018). Student veteran experiences in a transition seminar course: Exploring the Thriving Transition Cycle. Journal of Veterans Studies, 3(2), 1-18.


Recent Presentations

Active Grants

Mendez, S. L., & Conley, V. M., “Collaborative Research: The AGEP Engineering Alliance: A Model to Advance Historically Underrepresented Minority Postdoctoral Scholars and Early Career Faculty in Engineering,” Sponsored by National Science Foundation AGEP (18-21008), Federal, $514,819 (Collaborative Total: $2,249,372). (Funded: January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2023). 

Conley, V. M., & Mendez, S. L., "Increasing Minority Presence within Academia through Continuous Training (IMPACT)," Sponsored by National Science Foundation INCLUDES DDLP (17-44500), Federal, $84,832 (Total: $299,856). (Funded: September 8, 2017 – June 30, 2021).

Selected University Service

  • 2019-2020          Budget Model Steering Committee Member
  • 2019-Present     Bridge to Success Sophomore Mentoring Program Coordinator
  • 2019-2020         Strategic Plan 2030-Cultivate Excellence in Research & Creative Works Member
  • 2018-2019         Office of Inclusion and Academic Affairs Steering Committee Member
  • 2017-Present    Clyde’s Cupboard Advisory Board Member
  • 2017-2019         CU System Faculty Council Equity and Inclusive Excellence Taskforce Member
  • 2013-2020         Compass Inclusiveness Advisory Group Member
  • 2013-Present     Graduate Executive Committee Member
  • 2008-Present     Asian Pacific Islander Student Union Faculty Advisor