Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Apolonia Calderon earned both her Bachelors degree (2013) and Ph.D. (2018) in Political Science from Texas A&M University. After working as an undergraduate research assistant with the Project for Equity, Representation and Governance and an internship with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Apolonia was encouraged to get a Ph.D. in public administration and public policy with an emphasis on race and ethnic politics. Growing up along the U.S.-Mexico border, her life experiences helped shape her current research agenda that focuses on the intersections of immigration policy, the philanthropic community, and public administration. She hopes her work will provide insights into how to address systematic barriers affecting the life outcomes of minority and marginalized communities. As a first-generation college student, Apolonia loves to work and help students be successful during their educational journeys.