Mi Casa es TU CASA Newsletter

 March 2021 - Issue #1
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Dr. Mariya Davis,
Principal Investigator
Dr. Mariya Davis is an Assistant Professor of Special Education and the Principal Investigator for TU CASA, overseeing research and project implementation. Her work and expertise centers on transition to post-school environments for students with disabilities.  Dr. Davis is a proud Army Veteran’s wife and Air Force Mom! In her free time, Dr. Davis likes to paint, garden, cook, and spend time with her family.


Dr. Eric J. López,

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Eric J. López is a Professor at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Dr. López has over 20 years of higher education experience & works with underserved communities. Dr. López was an American Council on Education Fellow (2016-2017). His research interests include multicultural assessment, consultation and intervention. Dr. López enjoys gardening, hiking and listening to and playing conjunto and mariachi music.

Dr. Gavin Watts,

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Gavin Watts is the co-lead of the TU CASA Program as well as an Assistant Professor of Special Education at A&M-SA.  Dr. Watts is an avid golfer, bike rider, and in his free time, enjoys camping and exploring the vastness of West Texas.

Patrick Kelley,

Program Director

Patrick Kelley is the Director of the TU CASA Program.  He comes to San Antonio from the same type of program at the University of Toledo.  On May 18, 1980, he lived less than 30 miles away from Mt. St. Helens and watched the volcano erupt from his front yard.

Axel Esparza Tristan,

Administrative Associate

Axel Esparza is the Administrative Associate for the TU CASA Program. He is a first-generation college student and an A&M-SA alumnus who currently attends the Counseling graduate program.

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” — Ibn Battuta

Jennifer De Leon,

Academic Success Advisor

Jennifer De Leon is a Master’s of Special Education graduate from Texas A&M-San Antonio. She currently serves students in TU CASA, the First-Year-Seminar, and COEHD department at Texas A&M-San Antonio. As a biological mother of 19 children and wife for almost 30 years, Jennifer is always educating and assisting someone. She enjoys supporting and helping others any way she can.

Joycelyn Joya,

Career Success Advisor

Joycelyn Joya received her Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from University of Texas at San Antonio and her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Arts and Science from Lamar University.  She is Filipino-American and loves Asian cuisine! Her philosophy is anyone has the ability to make their dreams come true if they are willing to never give up.