Madelyn Lucas

Madelyn Lucas, Policy Analyst, Excelencia in Education

Madelyn Lucas

Policy Analyst

Current Position:
As Policy Analyst, Madelyn leverages data and evidence-based practices that inform Excelencia in Education’s policy portfolio to accelerate Latino student success. Working with the Research team, Madelyn uses current data and the contemporary context of Latinos in higher education to develop Excelencia’s institutional, state, and federal policy recommendations focused on four core issue areas: affordability, retention and transfer, institutional capacity, and workforce development. In this role, Madelyn supports work on institutional transformation by leveraging institutional efforts through the Seal of Excelencia, and also engages with Excelencia’s key stakeholders, including Excelencia’s network of affiliates, congressional staff, and other policy-focused organizations.

Past Experiences:
Madelyn’s passion for higher education policy was sparked by her experiences as a New Mexico native and first-generation college student. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she interned with the New Mexico Legislature and tracked a wide spectrum of policies during the state’s virtual legislative session. Madelyn later interned with the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation and contributed to fundraising efforts that aimed to support the advancement and preservation of Hispanic art and culture. Madelyn began her journey with Excelencia as Engagement Coordinator, working closely with the Presidents for Latino Student Success network. Then, as a graduate student, she interned with the Committee on Education and the Workforce at the U.S. House of Representatives, researching contemporary K-12 and higher education policies. Madelyn earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Chemistry from the University of New Mexico and her Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin.

Why are you bringing your talent to Excelencia?
Reflecting on the opportunities that higher education has provided me, I strongly believe that our nation’s future depends on closing equity gaps in educational outcomes. While education has important economic benefits, I also believe that it fosters compassion and provides opportunities for civic engagement. Engaging in national efforts to address post-traditional pathways and ensure Latino students are prepared for the workforce is such a privilege, and what sets Excelencia apart is how we uplift evidence-based practices and meet institutions where they are.

How would you describe working at Excelencia?
I am fortunate to collaborate closely with talented and passionate individuals who are eager to work in common cause, support the growth of one another, and celebrate individual and team wins. There is a strong sense of confianza that makes Excelencia’s team special. I feel blessed to be part of an organization where my “why” so closely aligns with my day-to-day work.



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