Board Of Directors
Our Governing Board
Dr. Celestino Fernandez | Governing Body President
Dr. Fernandez is a respected sociology professor at The University of Arizona. As a long-standing member of the Portable Practical Education Preparation (PPEP) and Affiliates corporate board, Dr. Fernandez advises AZVA on higher education issues and on issues related to PPEP and Affiliates.
Ms. Lopez served as state representative in the Arizona legislature in Phoenix. Her priorities at the legislature included children's issues, healthcare, education at all levels, and women's rights, to name a few. She graduated from The University of Arizona in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in women's studies and psychology, with honors, including: Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Beta Phi, National Golden Key Honor Society, and Dean's List. Ms. Lopez also attended the University of California, Berkeley. She has a great passion for children and education.
Dr. Mark Duplissis
Dr. Duplissis is the executive director of high school relations for The Arizona State University. He advises AZVA on school policy and post-secondary education issues. A former high school administrator, Dr. Duplissis brings with him years of experience in managing public schools.
Dr. Jessie K. Finch
Dr. Jessie K. Finch is the Chair of Sociology at Northern Arizona University. She studies migration, race and ethnicity, deviance, social psychology, emotions, culture, health, and pedagogy. She has a Ph.D. (2015) and M.A. (2011) in Sociology from the University of Arizona and a B.A. (2007) in Sociology and Music from the University of Tulsa. Jessie has published in peer-reviewed journals such as Teaching Sociology, Race and Social Problems, and Sociological Spectrum and has received grants from the National Science Foundation as well as the American Sociological Association. She is the co-editor of Migrant Deaths in the Arizona Desert from the University of Arizona Press (2016). She has also taught courses on immigration, race and ethnicity, deviance, research methods, popular culture, and happiness.