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Empowering college student access and success

Mayra Vite-Romero sitting near the front steps of LeChase Hall.
A journey from an undergraduate passion to a doctoral pursuit in higher education

As an undergraduate student at California State University, Bakersfield, Mayra Vite-Romero ‘23W (MS) discovered her interest in higher education through a campus job in the Office of Enrollment Management. This experience provided her with a platform to address systemic barriers in the college enrollment process. Her time in the office fueled a passion for supporting students, ultimately inspiring her to pursue a master’s in higher education to further contribute to the field she had come to love.

Vite-Romero was drawn to the structure of the Warner School’s master’s degree specialization, which focuses on the student affairs side of higher education in the specific area of academic and career advising. Throughout the interview process, her interactions with Warner’s personable and encouraging faculty solidified that Warner was the ideal place for her. Vite-Romero says, “If I was going to move across the country for a graduate program, it was going to be one where I felt welcomed and supported.”

The heart of Vite-Romero’s identity lies in migrating to the U.S. from Mexico and growing up in vibrant Latinx and Hispanic communities. She shares, “When I moved here, I really missed my community.” Fortunately, she found a sense of community away from home when a faculty member invited her to facilitate a Hispanic Heritage Month event. She expresses her gratitude for Warner’s effort to create safe spaces for students to share their cultures and experiences, saying, “That was such a thoughtful event to be part of. I was extremely grateful.”

Vite-Romero’s connections with Warner faculty continue to lead to academic, personal, and professional growth opportunities. After expressing her interest in advising students to a Warner faculty member, she was encouraged to apply for an internship with the College Center for Advising Services at the University of Rochester. Currently, Vite-Romero works as a full-time academic counselor at the center, where she continues to support and advocate for students. Additionally, she remains at the Warner School, pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education.

“The support I got inside and outside of class was extremely helpful when preparing for my current career," she adds. “Now, I can continue to work and still take classes while applying my education to my advising practice.”

Learn more about the higher education master's and doctoral programs at the Warner School.