Antonio Felix is the director of the PLACE Corps and CAST Program at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). In this role, he gets to work with and support current Catholic school teachers who are seeking their Master of Arts degree and Preliminary California Teaching Credential.
Antonio’s desire to pursue LMU’s Ed.D. Program stemmed from the personal and intellectual growth he experienced at LMU as a previous student of two graduate programs. LMU’s mission and commitment to social justice were ideals that he noticed served as guiding principles of the Ed.D. Program's goals. He was also attracted to the program's small, intimate cohort model. Lastly, the autonomy that the program gives its doctoral candidates to pursue their own research further motivated him to study at LMU. The breadth of students’ research and dissertations are a testament to the Ed.D. Program’s belief in its students.
His dissertation is focused on advancing the field’s knowledge of the factors that enhance the recruitment and retention of Latino/a Catholic school teachers to more adeptly increase their presence in TK-12 Catholic urban schools by exploring their racialized experiences and factors which motivate, sustain, and contribute to their choices to work in under-resourced Catholic schools. His research aims at highlighting the authority of Latino/a teacher epistemology and ontology to understand that if the demographics of Catholic schools continue to shift, the recruitment, selection, and retention practices of Latino/a teachers must also transmute to meet the needs of all their students.
Antonio’s participation in the Ed.D. Program at LMU has greatly supported his personal and professional impact in education in many ways. Often, when he encountered the challenges that come with supporting teachers who serve in primarily under-resourced Catholic schools, he found himself relying on the social justice constructs that he was learning about in the Ed.D. Program. The program was designed to integrate the theoretical concepts he was learning in class with the practical aspects of his daily work as an educational leader. As a result, he feels better equipped to serve his graduate students in being successful teachers.
As an LMU doctoral student, Antonio was accepted into the prestigious 2020-2022 UCEA Jackson Scholars cohort, a two-year program designed to provide formal networking, mentoring, and professional development support for graduate students of color who intend to enter the professoriate, and as a scholar for the 2022 David L. Clark National Graduate Research Seminar in Educational Administration and Policy by UCEA, AERA Divisions A and L, and SAGE Publications.