Felecia S. Russell, Ed.D

Founder, Embracing Undocumented | [email protected]

Director, Higher Ed Immigration Portal, The Presidents Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration
Areas of Expertise: Undocumented Students | College Access & Success | Higher Education | DACA| UndocuBlack| Professional Development

Felecia was born in a small village in Jamaica and immigrated to the United States at 11 years old. When she was in high school, she realized that she was undocumented. Her immigration status presented significant barriers to higher education; even so, she earned a bachelor’s, a master’s and a doctorate degree. Her own experience of higher education motivated her to help others pursue higher education, formerly as the Director of College Access at two high schools, the Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Cal Lutheran University, and now as the Director of the Higher Ed Immigration Portal at the Presidents Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. She also conducts research on the invisibility of Black undocumented people, sharing the stories of an often overlooked population.

Features and Associations

Felecia’s recent article, “What Does it Mean to be UndocuBlack? Exploring the Double Invisibility of Black Undocumented Immigrant Students in U.S. Colleges and Universities”, is available for open access. The article provides a grounding understanding of undocuBlack college students and concludes with recommendations for increasing the undocuBlack college student visibility in higher education and research.

In 2018, Felecia wrote a story for the National Immigration Law Center to document her journey as a DREAMer. At the time, she was afraid to reveal her undocumented status, so she used a pseudonym.

Felecia was also featured in Pepperdine University’s Magazine

See Felecia's Recent Article


May 2022
Ed.D Temple University, Higher Education
April 2015
Master of Public Policy Pepperdine University
April 2013
BA, California Lutheran University