Esmeralda Sanchez Salazar is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at Rice University where she serves as a doctoral research assistant and fellow with the Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC) and the Religion and Public Life Program (RPLP). Her primary research explores religious participation as an overlooked predictor of Latino higher education outcomes. In her dissertation, she uses multiple methods to explore the extent to which religion enables or constrains Latino college choices. Esmeralda’s broader research explores the role of English Learner (EL) status in predicting four-year college enrollment and bachelor’s degree attainment. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the Ford Foundation, and The Sociology of Science and Religion Funding Initiative. A first-generation college graduate and daughter of immigrants, she earned a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas and a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University.