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 Center).
“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.