Research and Development Director, Reading and Beyond
Matilda Soria was born and raised in Fresno and attended Central Unified School District schools. Matilda has earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and a Minor degree in Ethnic Studies from California State University, Fresno; a Masters degree in Human Development and Psychology, with a specialization in Risk and Prevention from Harvard University; and a Doctorate in Education from California State University, Fresno. She currently serves as the Research and Development Director of Reading and Beyond (a community-based organization in Fresno, CA) and as an Adjunct Professor of California State University-Fresno in the Educational Research and Administration Department of Kremen School of Education.
She has extensive experience conducting scientific and behavioral research among ethnic and at-risk populations, as well as in the development and management of educational programs for children and families.
Matilda serves on the Chancellor’s Task Force on Community Engaged Scholarship of UC Merced; the Fresno City College Child Development Department Advisory Committee; and the United Way Successful Children Impact Council. She is also a lifetime member of the Honor Societies of Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi.
The issue that I care most about is the achievement gap, particularly among students who are low-income and/or of color. Over the years I have realized that even good programs – no matter the degree of expansion—only provide a “band-aid” for the root causes of underachievement. No one organization or program will eliminate Fresno’s problems, but collaboration, tenacity, and inclusiveness will help us transform Fresno’s and the Valley’s neighborhoods of poverty. For positive, systemic community change – or collective impact to occur – more multi-disciplinary, cross-sector work needs to take place. Fresno is fast reaching its tipping point, the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point for change to occur. Fresno is my home. This is my community. I have a stake in whether or not effective community change occurs.”