Erin Kimura-Walsh, Ph.D.
Director, LEAD Scholars Program
Santa Clara University
Erin Kimura-Walsh is the Director of the LEAD Scholars Program at Santa Clara University. As the Director, she engages in the strategic planning for the program while overseeing the day to day operations. She plans the long-term growth and development of the program, including programming, courses, fundraising and strategic partnerships. She ensures the successful implementation of LEAD Week and college success activities throughout the year for first generation college students. Further, she acts as an advisor and advocate for LEAD Scholars. Dr. Kimura-Walsh teaches courses for the LEAD Scholars Program that focus on college success and leadership skills, and diversity and equity in higher education.
Originally from Seattle, she was an undergraduate student in English and Japanese at Santa Clara before earning an M.S. in Counseling from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. After earning her M.S. in Counseling, Erin worked in the Drahmann Academic Advising and Learning Resources Center. During this time she helped to found and develop what was then the LEAD Program (now the LEAD Scholars Program) before leaving to attend UCLA. She is excited to be back to foster the success of first generation college students at SCU.
Erin's research examines issues of diversity in college and university settings, including the experiences of underserved student populations and organizational change for diversity. More specifically her dissertation examined the way in which the core purpose of Ethnic Studies has been altered by being a part of the institution that it was established to challenge. She co-edited the volume, Towards a Brighter Tomorrow: College Barriers, Hopes and Plans of Black, Latina/o and Asian American Students in California.