February 2024 Newsletter

School of Education Welcomes Incoming Dean

Portrait of Tom SmithThe next dean of the School of Education will be Tom Smith, a highly accomplished researcher, educator, and leader with more than 30 years of experience in education. He will start his term on June 1, 2024. 

Currently a professor of public policy and education in Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, Smith previously served in multiple leadership roles at UC Riverside, including dean of the Graduate School of Education, interim provost and executive vice chancellor, and interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs. “Tom offers a wealth of experience as a leader in higher education, and we are thrilled to welcome him as the new dean for our School of Education,” said Mary Croughan, provost and executive vice chancellor for UC Davis. Read more about Tom Smith.


Words Take Wing Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Special Event

Portraits of Thanhhà Lại, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Grace Lin and JaNay Brown-WoodThis year is the 20th anniversary of Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children’s Literature, and the School of Education and Sacramento Public Library are celebrating with an expanded free evening event. 

On Feb. 27, 6 p.m. in the Tsakopolous Library Galleria, Dr. JaNay Brown-Wood will moderate a conversation with award-winning authors  Thanhhà Lại, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Grace Lin. ASL interpretation will be provided. Books by all of the featured authors will be available for purchase from Capital Books. Learn more about this year’s special Words Take Wing event.

MA Symposium Showcases Student Work

MA student gestures at academic poster while smiling woman looks onJoin us for the MA Symposium on Saturday, March 9, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the UC Davis Student Community Center. All are welcome as our MA students share and discuss their teacher inquiry projects. No registration is required. For more details, including the schedule of presenters, visit the MA Symposium event page.  

Sherrie Reed Presenting at EdSource Roundtable

Portrait of Sherrie ReidLast year, more than half of high school seniors in California failed to meet college preparatory A–G course requirements, making them ineligible to apply to California’s public universities. Dr. Sherrie Reed, Executive Director of the School of Education’s California Education Lab, will speak on an expert panel on this topic later this month. EdSource will host “Keeping Options Open: Why most students aren’t eligible to apply to California’s public universities” online on Feb. 27 from 2–3:00 pm. Learn more about Keeping Options Open and register.

Center for Community and Citizen Science Collabinar

Portrait of Rosalie Zdzienicka FanshelJoin us in person or by Zoom on March 7, 10:30–11:30 am for the Collabinar “Campus Foodscape Mapping as Justice-Oriented Critical Pedagogy, Activist Research, and Organizational Change.” Presenter Rosalie Zdzienicka Fanshel is a doctoral candidate in the division of Society and Environment in the department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. Registration is required. Learn more and register.

Faculty News

Darnel Degand and Kevin Gee Receive SEED Funding

Portraits of Darnel Degand and Kevin GeeThe Office of Research has awarded grants to Prof. Darnel Degand and Prof. Kevin Gee  under the Humanities and Social Sciences Stimulating Exceptional and Essential Discovery (SEED) Funding Program. They are among the first cohort of recipients for this new award, which supports research activity with high likelihood of impact in historically underfunded fields in the humanities and related social sciences. Degand’s project is titled “STILL… Racism in America: A Retrospective in Cartoons,” and Gee’s project is titled “How Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth Confront Bullying: Insights from the Community Cultural Wealth Model.” Read more about the SEED funding program.

Lauren Lindstrom Appointed Distinguished Visiting Professor

Lauren Lindstrom with Prof. Maximus Sefotho and Prof. Tumi DialeProf. Lauren E. Lindstrom has received a five-year appointment as a Distinguished Visiting Professor for the University of Johannesburg, where she will be affiliated with the Department of Educational Psychology and the Centre for Neurodiversity. Lindstrom, pictured at right with Prof. Maximus Sefotho and Prof. Tumi Diale of University of Johannesburg, will continue to conduct collaborative research with Sefotho on career transition for youth with disabilities, assist with grant writing, and provide support for several education PhD students.

Student and Alumni News

Portrait of Valeria Zunino EdelsbergPhD student Valeria Zunino Edelsberg has been awarded a $30,000 Dissertation Fellowship with the Center for Measurement Justice. This prestigious fellowship aims to strengthen the field of research and build a community of scholars dedicated to justice-oriented topics in educational measurement. Zunino’s dissertation is “Exploring Chilean Teachers’ Equitable Classroom Assessment Literacy,” and she is exploring the extent to which Chilean teacher candidates understand how to develop, administer, and interpret classroom assessments in ways that treat student heritage, language, and culture as assets and resources that are honored and extended while accurately determining content knowledge. Learn more about the Center for Measurement Justice.

Portrait of Patti F. HerreraPatti F. Herrera, EdD ’19, has been promoted to executive vice president of School Services of California Inc. (SSC). She joined SSC nine years ago and has served as vice president and director of Governmental Relations. Prior to joining SSC, she led the Governmental Relations Division as the chief governmental relations officer for the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools and spent over a decade at Murdoch, Walrath and Holmes and the Coalition for Adequate School Housing, where she specialized in the state’s School Facility Program. Read more about Patti F. Herrera

Event Spotlights

Expanding Equity in Educational Research: Comics, Identity, & Representation [VIDEO]

Barbara Brandon-Croft gesticulating with hands while seated at a table and presenting at the eventThis month the School of Education presented a special Expanding Equity in Educational Research program with Enrique García, Barbara Brandon-Croft and Tara Nakashima Donahue presenting on Comics, Identity, & Representation. The event coincided with the exhibition “STILL: Racism in America, a Retrospective in Cartoons,” co-curated by Prof. Darnel Degand, which runs until April 21, 2024, and showcases the work of Brandon-Croft and her father, the late Brumsic Brandon, Jr. Watch the video and see the photo gallery of Comics, Identity, & Representation

TJE Presents Jean Beaman [VIDEO]

Dr. Jean Beaman and Prof. Maisha Winn stand in front of the audienceOn Feb. 7, the Transformative Justice in Education Center hosted Dr. Jean Beaman speaking on “Towards a Reading of Black Lives Matter in France: Diasporic Connections and Global Social Movements.” Beaman discussed her ongoing ethnographic research on anti-racist mobilization and activism against police violence in the United States and worldwide. Beaman addressed what it means to consider Black Lives Matter in a society that disavows race and racism and how anti-racist activists in France, many of whom are Black and Maghrébin origin, assert a place for themselves in a society that continually marginalizes them. Watch the video and see the photo gallery of Dr. Jean Beaman’s presentation.

Chicanx and Latinx Education Symposium [PHOTOS]

Audience members listening to presentation and clappingIn January, the School of Education hosted our first Chicanx and Latinx Education Symposium, which engaged the question: “What is Chicanx/Latinx education in theory, research, and practice?” The event brought together three interdisciplinary Chicanx/Latinx education scholar-activists to present their work in a research panel, dialogue with us, and participate in a mentorship session with undergraduate/graduate/professional students engaged in studies and work at this intersection. This event was co-sponsored by the School of Education, the Department of Chicana/o Studies, the Davis Humanities Institute, and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Read more about the Chicanx and Latinx Education Symposium and see the photo gallery.

Show Off with School of Education Gear

School of Education branded cap, mugs, and sweatshirt.Looking for a way to show off your School of Education pride? You’ll find shirts of all styles, as well as mugs, hats and more with the School of Education logo at the online UC Davis Store. Proceeds from all store sales benefit UC Davis Athletics.


Prof. Kevin Gee co-authored “Humanizing Asian Americans in educational research,” published in Race Ethnicity and Education.

Prof. Margarita Jimenez-Silva authored “Geography as a Bridge to Meaningful Engagement for English Language Learners,” published in The Geography Teacher. 

Prof. Nicole Sparapani co-authored “Do Teacher Perceptions of Students’ Academic and Behavioral Skills Influence Time Spent in Small-Group Reading Instruction?” published in The Elementary School Journal. 

Dr. Lisa Sullivan, Prof. Rebecca Ambrose, Heather Ballinger, EdD ’21, and PhD Student Andrew Hood were among the co-authors of “Supervisors as Creators of Teacher Educator Community of Practice,” a chapter in the book Professional Learning Journeys of Teacher Educators.

Postdoctoral scholars Shulong Yan and Alexandra I. Race, Prof. Heidi L. Ballard, Erin Bird, PhD ’19, and PhD students Jadda M. Miller and Emma R. Schectman were among the co-authors of “How Can Participating in a Forest Community and Citizen Science Program Support Elementary School Students’ Understanding of Socio-Ecological Systems?” published in Sustainability.

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