Juan Angel Valdez Jr. studied political science at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. He is a former McNair Scholar and has presented at six different conferences and symposiums around the country throughout the 2013-2014 academic years. He has participated in several summer research opportunities, including one at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at University of New Mexico - Albuquerque. During his time at the RWJF Center for Health Policy, he co-authored a paper with Dr. Gabriel Sanchez and Dr. Edward Vargas on Latino political identity, which is currently under review. In his third year, he became president of the Pi Sigma Alpha Mu Psi chapter of the National Political Science Honor Society. His broad research interests are in the areas of American politics, political psychology, political identity, and Latino political behavior. In December of 2014, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts, and in the top 5 percent of his graduating class.