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Speaking Expertise

Adriana Cervantes-González, Ed.D.

Adriana Cervantes-González, Ed.D.

Dr. Adriana Cervantes-González comes to our organization with 20 years as an educator serving faculty, students, families, and communities in both K-12 and higher education settings.

Dr. Cervantes-González is currently a Faculty member at California State University, Bakersfield for the School of Social Sciences and Education where she is the lead Faculty for the Teacher Residency for Rural Education (TRRE) Project. This innovative project is a partnership between the California Center on Teaching Careers at the Tulare County Office of Education, CSU-Bakersfield, and the Visalia Unified School District. Prior to joining the faculty at CSU-Bakersfield, Dr. Cervantes-González served as the Liaison for the South Valley Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) for Fresno State University and as Adjunct Faculty with Fresno Pacific University working with students in the development of methods and processes for conducting social science research. She has been a key faculty member in establishing strong university partnerships through the development and implementation of these innovative programs with a focus on growing and diversifying the teacher pipeline. She has also served as a high school counselor and school site administrator in a large urban district where she led the development of schoolwide needs assessments and training of the English Learner Advisory Council.

As an active Board of Directors member of two non-profit organizations; The Center for Leadership Equity and Research and the Central California Food Bank, Dr. Cervantes-González serves her community regionally. In 2020, she was selected for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s work group for the revisions to the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. In this capacity, she has been collaborating with educators from throughout the state by offering her expertise in examining teaching standards from other states and providing recommendations that include California’s current context and changing demographics. Dr. Cervantes-González is Certified by the Center for Culturally Proficient Education Practice and continues to use the tools of cultural proficiency and strategically works with stakeholders on issues of equity to foster transformational organizational change. Her advocacy, professional and consulting work includes an intentional focus in the praxis of culturally responsive teaching pedagogies and culturally relevant practices in order to effectively serve the demographic groups represented in schools. She has been an invited keynote and expert panelist on topics from parents as partners to diversifying the teacher pipeline, to culturally proficient practices for school leaders.

Dr. Felipe Mercado

Dr. Felipe Mercado is the founder of Wise Souls LLC.  Felipe has worked in education for the past decade. He has served in various administrative capacities. He has also been a counselor, researcher, consultant, and social work. Dr. Mercado earned a Doctorate in Educational and Leadership in 2017 and a Masters in social work in 2012. Dr. Mercado uses his research, personal story, and practical experience to provide the emotional effect infused with the practical strategies to further systems and individual’s capacity to be the best they can be in their personal life and their work setting. His dissertation utilized social-psychological interventions to promote equity and wellbeing for students of color.

Dr. Mercado is a sought-after public speaker on a range of topics, including Youth Motivation, Equity and Diversity, Social Emotional Learning, Behavior Design, and Leadership. In 2017, Dr. Mercado was featured in a special issue by News and Review, Sacramento focused on keeping kids in school and looking at how we interact with kids of color in the public education system. In 2019, he was selected for the Health and Human Services Hero Award.