SHEEO welcomes Kristine and Pearson as state policy interns

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) welcomes Kristine Jan Cruz Espinoza and Pearson Brown as state policy interns. 

During her internship at SHEEO, Kristine will work on the state higher education finance (SHEF) project, assist with data collection on federal grant funds to Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), and help construct an MSI funding project dataset.

Kristine is a Ph.D. student studying higher education and completing a graduate certificate in program evaluation and assessment at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Her research interests include race-based higher education policies, currently focusing on Minority-Serving Institutions and racial data classification. Kristine most recently worked as a graduate assistant for a National Science Foundation Improving Undergraduate STEM Education HSI grant-funded professional development program. She also serves on UNLV’s MSI Student Council, which involves undergraduate and graduate students in decision-making around campuswide MSI efforts. Prior to doctoral study, Kristine worked full time as a student affairs officer in the UCLA Asian American Studies Department. Kristine attended Long Beach City College, transferring to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in biology and anthropology, and a master’s of education in educational administration.

During his time at SHEEO, Pearson will work on the state higher education finance (SHEF) project, modeling a federal free-college program, and assist with the FASFA simplification project. 

Pearson is a Ph.D. student in the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia with research interests in funding sources for higher education and state appropriation processes. Pearson also serves as a graduate assistant for the University System of Georgia’s Division of Research and Policy Analysis. He has recently worked on projects pertaining to gateway course completion, ways course outcomes differ across modalities, and graduates’ earnings. Pearson earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in professional selling from Baylor University and his master’s of education in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia. 

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The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) serves the executives of statewide governing, policy, and coordinating boards of postsecondary education and their staffs. Founded in 1954, SHEEO promotes an environment that values higher education and its role in ensuring the equitable education of all Americans, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic factors. Together with its members, SHEEO aims to achieve this vision by equipping state higher education executive officers and their staffs with the tools to effectively advance the value of higher education, promoting public policies and academic practices that enable all Americans to achieve success in the 21st century, and serving as an advocate for state higher education leadership. For more information, visit