Alexia “Lexie” Pineda Soto

Alexia “Lexie” Pineda Soto is the coordinator of the First To Go Program at Loyola Marymount University, where she serves LMU's 1000+ first-generation student population through culturally sustaining, justice-rooted, and identity-specific programming. In guiding identity-intersectional students who have been generationally and systematically excluded and underserved in higher education contexts, the First To Go Program creates a multi-cultural academic and co-curricular community that pioneers promising initiatives in service of student success, global and local citizenry, and civic imagination. 

In providing holistically-serving resources, true investment, guidance, and intentionality, the First To Go Program co-designs an educational culture with and for the first-gen students that serves student needs, uplifts narratives, and enhances agency. 

Lexie’s first "why" for enrolling in LMU’s Ed.D. Program is her grandmother, and her second "why" is First To Go. The union of these "whys" furthered, and continues to propel, her belief in courage, esperanza, justice, and love. Enrolling in the Ed.D. Program was a way to honor those "whys” while also contending with a bigger call: How do we commit to innovative, community-driven, and student-centric educational transformation to our spaces?  

Lexie’s research areas of interest are First-generation+ college student experiences; student-centric and identity-intersectional career education and social-emotional-mental services; social justice education; womanist and mujersita pedagogies; and higher education. Participation in the Ed.D. Program has provided clarity and confirmation regarding the areas of higher education work that Lexie is driven by and serving for and with. More so, it has permitted her the ability to explore her areas of interest while allowing her to imbue the emotional, mental, and spiritual beliefs and practices that are central to her into every stage of this process.