Who We Are

Alexza Barajas Clark, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Policy & Advovacy
Conexión Américas

A sto­ry­teller at heart, Alexza enjoys cul­ti­vat­ing mean­ing­ful sto­ries about under­rep­re­sent­ed groups with par­tic­u­lar empha­sis in the Latino/a com­mu­ni­ty. She is a first-gen­er­a­tion Mex­i­can-Amer­i­can who was raised in Ana­heim, Cal­i­for­nia. Inspired by the sto­ries of her com­mu­ni­ty, Alexza has worked with some of the nation’s most high-pro­file tele­vi­sion news pro­grams includ­ing, Tele­mu­ndo-Los Ange­les, CNN’s Ander­son Coop­er 360, The Night­ly News with Bri­an Williams, MSNBC, The Today Show, and Date­line NBC. As a native Span­ish speak­er, Alexza has also man­aged cul­tur­al adap­ta­tion, trans­la­tion and inter­pre­ta­tion projects for diverse clien­tele includ­ing For­tune 500 Com­pa­nies, non-prof­its and local to fed­er­al gov­ern­ments. She earned a doc­tor­al degree in com­mu­ni­ca­tions from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Utah, a master’s degree in medi­at­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Pep­perdine Uni­ver­si­ty, and an under­grad­u­ate degree in rhetoric and broad­cast jour­nal­ism from Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, Long Beach. In addi­tion to her pro­fes­sion­al and aca­d­e­mic pur­suits, Alexza serves on the board of St. Luke’s Com­mu­ni­ty House and the Nashville Urban Debate League, a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that cre­ates and sup­ports pol­i­cy debate pro­grams in Metro Nashville Pub­lic Schools. She cur­rent­ly resides in Nashville with her hus­band Josh and their daugh­ter Jack­ie.

Vilmaris González
engagement & leadership development Manager
Conexión Américas

Vil­maris González is the Engage­ment and Lead­er­ship Devel­op­ment Man­ager for the edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy team at Conex­ión Améri­c­as. In her role she man­ages The Mosaic Fel­low­ship, an inno­v­a­tive statewide ini­tia­tive to cre­ate a strong net­work of edu­ca­tion lead­ers of col­or who strive for edu­ca­tion­al equi­ty for all stu­dents. Vil­maris is Ten­nessee raised, but a New Jer­sey Boricua at heart. Grow­ing up in Ten­nessee she under­stands the true neces­si­ty for edu­ca­tion­al equi­ty, and what that looks like for under­rep­re­sent­ed groups in rural com­mu­ni­ties. Her root­ed pas­sion for edu­ca­tion stems from her time work­ing with youth in the US and inter­na­tion­al­ly in both Spain and Roma­nia. Short­ly after grad­u­at­ing from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ten­nessee, she relo­cat­ed to the Domini­can Repub­lic to work at Glob­al Glimpse, an inter­na­tion­al non­prof­it that focus­es on cross-cul­tur­al edu­ca­tion­al and lead­er­ship devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties for Amer­i­can youth. She then worked at a bilin­gual school in San­ti­ago for two years before decid­ing to return to Ten­nessee in the hopes of being a change agent for her home state. When Vil­maris is not work­ing she enjoys cook­ing, trav­el­ing, and danc­ing bachata and sal­sa.

Bryce Warden
Bryce warden
policy Manager
Conexión Américas

Bryce War­den is fin­ish­ing his grad­u­ate study in pub­lic pol­i­cy at Vanderbilt’s Peabody Col­lege. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies and Span­ish (Phi Beta Kap­pa) from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­sis­sip­pi. After col­lege, Bryce worked for the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mississippi’s School of Edu­ca­tion where he facil­i­tat­ed uni­ver­si­ty-com­mu­ni­ty part­ner­ships to devel­op pro­grams cen­tered on col­lege access for rural, under­served stu­dents. On the high­er edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy track at Peabody, he has worked on a qual­i­ta­tive research project study­ing the “mes­sages” that par­ents of first-gen­er­a­tion stu­dents send to their stu­dents. His pro­fes­sion­al inter­ests lie along the lines of equi­table access and suc­cess for all stu­dents.