HEI is proud to welcome Cidhinnia M. Torres Campos, PhD, to our team as our managing director. Below, Cidhinnia offers a glimpse into her career thus far and what drives her professionally. If you’d like to learn more about Cidhinnia or connect with her, we encourage you to CONTACT US!
Cidhinnia M. Torres Campos is HEI’s Managing Director. Cidhinnia has worked extensively with a wide variety of public, non-profit, and education organizations on issues related to positive youth development, academic success, and access. She has broad and comprehensive expertise in the evaluation of clinically-based, faith-based, and community-based programming. She has also worked extensively in agency and regional accreditation in higher education, learning outcomes assessment of academic and co-curricular programming, institutional research/effectiveness, strategic planning, and project management. She has presented and provided training across the country on theories and principles of community and educational research and assessment, strategic program development, and evaluation strategies and implementation, and she has presented and published globally in a variety of academic and applied forums.
Cidhinnia has teaching experience in a variety of areas, including psychology, research methods, statistics, management principles, higher education administration, and project management. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, and holds master’s and doctorate degrees in Ecological/Community Psychology from Michigan State University. She was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on an NIMH-funded research grant under Dr. Jean Phinney at California State University, Los Angeles. She is a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® from the Project Management Institute. She also completed the Education Policy Fellowship through the Institute for Educational Leadership. Awards received include the Change Award for Innovation and Leadership, Phenomenal and Remarkable Women Award, Women in Philanthropy Award for Volunteerism, and the Leading Women Award.
What first drew you to work in higher education?
The funny thing is that when I was finishing up my dissertation, I actually said I was never going back to higher ed. It was really clear to me that I wanted to use my degree to do applied research that felt really useful and valuable to the groups and communities I was working with. I was lucky enough to be able to do gratifying evaluation work early in my graduate career. So at first, I didn’t see a way to do that within higher education even though my own research interests were focused on positive youth development and academic outcomes. Through my postdoctoral fellowship, I had the opportunity to direct the implementation of and evaluate a project focused on improving the academic outcomes of first-generation Latinx students at a Hispanic Serving Institution. Along with being able to see how applied research could be done within academia, I also had the pleasure of mentoring and supervising talented young women in their graduate studies. This experience showed me that perhaps there was a way to do the work I was passionate about within a higher education context. That’s when I first discovered institutional research and realized that this was a way to do research and evaluation for the benefit of students and continuous quality improvement within academia.
How would you describe the work you’re most passionate about?
I am very passionate about building capacity in organizations through data. I love helping organizations improve their work and better serve their stakeholders by collecting, analyzing, and using data to inform their decisions and strategy. In particular, I am passionate about supporting organizations that support BIPOC communities. I also enjoy facilitating discussions within organizations that support their ongoing learning from each other.
What gives you hope in the work you do?
I was recently asked why I do this work if systemic change is so slow. The answer I come back to every time is that if what I do improves even one person’s life in some way, then it was worth it.
What is your favorite part of working at HEI and with HEI’s clients?
I love that we are working across a diverse set of clients, all of who see value in data, in facilitating conversation, and in strategic learning. I am also blown away by the talented individuals that I get to work with every day. The diverse set of strengths and perspectives that my colleagues bring to the table make working at HEI exciting and rewarding.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am very grateful to be joining HEI as it feels like the culmination of a lifetime of work, both in consulting directly with organizations and within higher education. I am excited for what the future holds at HEI.