Dr. Lopez began her career as a public-school teacher and then administrator in Texas, her home state. She found her way into correctional education as the Superintendent of Education for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and was later recruited to initiate education reforms for the students in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice by the Windham School District. In 2016, Obama-era Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates recruited Dr. Lopez to build a school district within the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Dr. Lopez then served as the Deputy Director of College and Career Readiness and Professional Development for the DC Department of Corrections where she designed and implemented innovative academic and workforce development programs for incarcerated students and a post-release employment program for justice-involved individuals returning to the community. Dr. Lopez has been instrumental in implementing technology and STEM opportunities for incarcerated students and advocating for more of the same across the country. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University, earned her M.Ed. from Lubbock Christian University, and her doctoral degree from Sam Houston State University. She is currently the CEO of Past the Edges Consulting and the Executive Director of Operations for Hand2Heart DC, a nonprofit serving incarcerated students and returning citizens in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. She is also a professor at George Washington University.