In academia, the trajectory from idea to implementation is often a lengthy process. But big ideas are the medium for invention. Launched in February 2010, EdForward: The Center for Innovation in Education is the School of Education’s bold gamble that it can leverage the know-how, the very engine of the University, to revolutionize the way schools, businesses and communities deliver results for all learners. In the process, we hope to build a new revenue stream for the School that enables investment in cutting-edge research, programs and collaborations.
“The School is an incubator of ideas. Its people are eager to take risks to create something new.” – Dr. Louis Vismara, retired cardiologist, a founder of the UC Davis MIND Institute, and a member of the School’s Board of Advisors
Since its founding, EdForward has introduced several pilot projects —from hosting science-based summer enrichment camps to leading district administrators through a managerial process called Lean Six Sigma. We are now deeply engaged in developing several projects that will put our innovation into practice. Our focus is on continuing to build strong partnerships with business and community leaders and find meaningful ways for all education stakeholders to submit ideas for further innovation. Download a description of EdForward and current projects.
The School of Education, Center for Innovation in Education (EdForward) has joined forces with Roominate, a company that makes build-it-yourself dollhouses kits designed for girls (ages 6-13) to have fun with science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM) while building hands-on skills and confidence.
Cynthia Sommer, Director of EdForward, makes sure the pipeline stays packed with ideas for the School of Education to spur innovation in education. She has cultivated a diverse background in corporate and nonprofit management, healthcare marketing, online education, and is particularly adept in the areas of marketing, product management, research, and communications. She has been a business instructor at local universities and community colleges, and received an Outstanding Service Award from UC Davis Extension.
Andee Press-Dawson, Director of Community Programs and Events, focuses on Youth Enrichment Programs. She is passionate about delivering quality education programs to the region, and brings unparalleled experience from her years administering the California Afterschool Network and managing youth-oriented endeavors such as launching a children’s museum and providing quality-based child care centers. Andee holds a master’s degree in Social Work from San Diego State University and a BA in Sociology and Government from the University of Arizona.