Sara Montiel

Sara Montiel

Sara Montiel

Associate Director of Student Services


Higher education access and retention; first- and second-generation immigrant students; first-generation college students; and women in higher education leadership.

Dr. Sara Montiel (she/her/hers) joined the School of Integrative Studies in January of 2018 and serves as the Associate Director of Student Services, Integrative Studies. She has nearly 20 years of experience supporting and encouraging the dreams of Mason students and is excited to work with Integrative Studies majors. Dr. Montiel's areas of interests include: higher education access and retention; academic success and motivation of underrepresented groups; effective academic advising techniques and the academic advising experiencing academic difficulty; first- and second-generation immigrant students; first-generation college students; and women in higher education leadership. In service to the college, Dr. Montiel serves as Co-Chair and Administrative Faculty representative for the CHSS Classified Staff & A/P Faculty Advisory Council.

In May of 2022, she had the esteemed honor of accepting the inaugural Patriot Academic Advisor Inspiration Award, recognizing a member of the GMU community who demonstrates an exceptional commitment to, understanding of, and application of effective diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in their academic advising of undergraduate students. 

Dr. Montiel enjoys spending time reading fiction, salsa dancing, going on runs and spending quality time with her young son.

Courses Taught

HDFS 401: Family Law/Public Policy

INTS 490: Internship

INTS 395/420: College to Career

INTS  312: Images and Experiences of Childhood

UNIV 421: College to Graduate School

UNIV 100: Freshman Transition


Ph.D. Education - George Mason University

M.S. Educational Psychology - George Mason University

B.S. Psychology - Virginia Commonwealth University

Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration - George Mason University


Recent Presentations

Hassell-Goodman, S., Montiel, S. & McCarron, G. P. (2024, Feb. 2). First-generation college women of immigrant origin and perspectives on the role of gender in their experiences on- and off-campus. Panel presentation at Education and Health Research Hub Conference on College Students of Immigrant Origin. Virtual Presentation.

Montiel, S. (2022, June 11). "I am my parents' wildest dream": Using your family's immigrant story to fuel your college success. Early Identification Program (EIP), George Mason University - First2Lead Conference, Fairfax, VA.

McCarron, G. P., Montiel, S., Hassell-Goodman, S., Byrd, X., Kim, N. (2021, June 30). Honoring the intersections: Supporting first-generation immigrant-origin college students[Virtual conference presentation]. Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) - Student Success in Higher Education Conference.