Susan O’Hara Named Executive Director, CRESS Center July 2013
The UC Davis School of Education is pleased to introduce Dr.
Susan P. O’Hara as the new executive director of its Center for
Cooperative Research and Extension Services for Schools (CRESS
“My scholarship and practical experience align very well with
the work of the CRESS Center, designing and facilitating high
quality research and development programs that promote improved
professional practice and student learning in K-12 schools. I
am very passionate about connecting research and practice in
meaningful ways and believe that this is especially important
as we implement new standards. I look forward to providing
leadership as the CRESS Center moves into the next phase of
development. I am also excited to be back at UC Davis where I
completed my doctorate in 2000.” – Dr. Susan P. O’Hara
O’Hara comes to the CRESS Center with a wealth of experience and
background in public education, working closely with teachers,
researchers and community leaders. An educator for 20 years, she
began her career teaching mathematics and science to middle and
high school students in Ireland. She has a master’s degree in
applied mathematics from the University of Southern California
and a Ph.D. in science and technology education from the UC Davis
School of Education. In 2000, O’Hara was appointed assistant
professor in teacher education at Sacramento State University.
Most recently, she was associate professor and founding executive
director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET)
at Stanford University.
As an expert scholar-practitioner in the area of teacher
development, O’Hara has extensive experience in the development
and implementation of academic courses and teacher professional
development programs. As a member of the team who created
the Center of Teaching and Learning at Sacramento State
University, O’Hara designed and facilitated numerous professional
development programs for university faculty focused on
educational technology and on preparing curriculum for
linguistically and culturally diverse populations.
At Stanford, O’Hara led the design and implementation of numerous
professional development programs, which have served over 1,600
teachers and education leaders from more than seven states,
representing 80 districts and charter management organizations
and over 360 schools. Her approach to scaling these programs is
to build strategic national partnerships and assemble
interdisciplinary teams of experts and stakeholders from the
university, community, schools and districts.
O’Hara’s scholarship has always included a focus on providing a
challenging and meaningful learning environment for
linguistically and culturally diverse populations. Her research
in this area has spanned 12 years and has resulted in numerous
grants, article publications, and professional presentations.
In her role as executive director of the CRESS Center, O’Hara
will develop and implement a strategic plan for the center,
oversee finance and budget, lead fundraising efforts, cultivate
local and national partnerships with other educational
organizations, and lead teams in the design and implementation of
numerous research and development programs.