March 2019 Newsletter

PhD Candidate Kaozong Mouavangsou, Advocate for Hmong Americans in Education, Receives Activism Award 

School of Education PhD candidate Kaozong Mouavangsou has been honored with the UC Davis Equity Summit’s Award for Community-Engaged Scholarship and Activism. A Hmong American herself, Mouavangsou is writing her dissertation on what makes a difference in helping Hmong Americans successfully navigate their undergraduate studies.

In 2015, Mouavangsou designed and taught the first UC Davis course on the Hmong American experience. In a second course she created and taught last summer, she had a staff member from the California State Assembly walk students through the legislative process and recent California bills on education to show how advocacy from the community can develop into legislation. “Just because you have an education doesn’t mean it will lead to your liberation,” Mouavangsou said. “Who is in the classroom teaching? What materials are being taught? It’s the type of education you receive that can lead you there.” Learn more about Mouavangsou and her recent award in this news article.

School of Education Hosts South African Professor Focused on Educational Equity for Students with Disabilities

Last month, Dean Lauren Lindstrom welcomed Professor Maximus Sefotho from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, on a weeklong visit to the School of Education. Sefotho is a Professor of Educational Psychology who focuses on teacher preparation and building inclusive education for students with disabilities in South Africa. During his time in Davis, Dr. Sefotho met with faculty, staff and students affiliated with the School of Education, the MIND Institute, Global Affairs, and UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. Dean Lindstrom and Dr. Sefotho are currently attending the Pacific Rim Conference on Disability and Diversity in Hawaii, and Dean Lindstrom will be visiting South Africa later this year as part of her tenure as a Fulbright Specialist. Learn more about Dean Lindstrom’s commitment to international educational equity on our website.


We are pleased to announce that Dr. Nancy Erbstein will join the School of Education faculty in Spring 2019. She has been appointed as an Associate Professor in Residence, the first position of its kind in our School’s history. This new position is a collaboration with Global Affairs, and Erbstein will also serve as Director of the Global Education for All initiative at UC Davis. Coming from the UC Davis Department of Human Ecology, Erbstein has research expertise in the areas of youth civic learning and engagement, youth development and healthy youth environments. She has already been serving as a member of our Graduate Group in Education. 

Dr. Yuuko Uchikoshi Tonkovich was recently promoted to Full Professor in the School of Education. Uchikoshi Tonkovich is an outstanding scholar with a unique focus on language and literacy development for dual language learners. She serves as Director of Undergraduate Programs and has been a committed mentor for both graduate and undergraduate students. Uchikoshi Tonkovich also led the School’s efforts to develop new coursework for international students here at UC Davis.

Dr. Cassandra Hart, School of Education Associate Professor and CANDEL Co-Director, has been named an Educational Researcher Outstanding Reviewer for 2018 by the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Each year, AERA journal editors recognize the invaluable contribution of volunteer reviewers who have provided exemplary, thorough and timely reviews of manuscripts received by their respective journals. Hart’s service to the field will be celebrated at a reception hosted by the Journal Publications Committee during the AERA Annual Meeting this April.

Postdoctoral Researcher Nidia Bañuelos Discusses the “Dangerous” History of For-Profit Colleges and Universities

When Congress granted for-profit colleges and universities (FPCUs) access to federal financial aid in 1972, the field of higher education shifted. FPCUs expanded their reach, began making large profits and started being publicly traded. According to Nidia Bañuelos, a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Education, this change was an important point in the history of higher education, and it’s a historical moment that feels familiar and dangerous for students at FPCUs today.

“The rhetoric used to defend granting FPCUs access to federal aid in the 1970s is very similar to the rhetoric Secretary DeVos is using now to de-regulate the industry and roll back Obama-era reforms around consumer protections against educational fraud,” said Bañuelos. “The last time this rhetoric was used resulted in regulatory structures that allowed FPCUs to not only grow big but to do some harmful things to students.” Bañuelos is working on a book about the history of FPCUs and recently published an article, “Dangerous Metaphors: The Consequences of Treating Higher Education Like a Consumer Good,” on the subject. Read more about her current research in this new research spotlight on our website.

Alumni Spotlight: Susan Catron (EdD ‘12)

“What excites me about working in the field of continuing education is the potential to have a substantial impact on people’s lives and career trajectories,” said Susan Catron (EdD ’12). As interim dean of UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education (formerly called UC Davis Extension), Catron focuses on how to best serve non-traditional, part-time adult learners regionally and globally using a variety of educational delivery approaches. She directs a team of 230 academic and professional staff who provide educational opportunities to nearly 60,000 students from more than 100 countries each year. 

Catron decided to earn her doctorate in educational leadership from UC Davis to strengthen her pedagogical know-how and pursue research in online educational quality. “The CANDEL program allowed me to round out my expertise,” she said. Learn more about her in our latest alumni spotlight.


Get Ready for the Annual UC Davis Give Day, April 12-13 

UC Davis Give Day is fast approaching! The UC Davis community collectively raised $1.8 million during last year’s Give Day to help support students, research and more. We’re now gearing up for the third annual Give Day, which takes place in conjunction with Picnic Day—April 12-13. Here’s what you can do now to help make this year’s Give Day a success:

Give Early: If you’re ready to make an impact before April 12, you can show your commitment to education starting March 11, when the “Give Early” button goes live on the School of Education’s Give Day website. You’ll be able to give any amount to any area of your choosing at the School of Education. 

Become a Social Media Ambassador: Are you a social media all-star? The more Social Ambassadors we have sharing the news, the better the results. Sign up now to be a Social Ambassador and get the official hashtags, graphics to share and other useful tips. We are counting on you—our Aggie alumni, friends, students, parents, faculty and staff—to make this the best Give Day yet!

Words Take Wing Event Brings Newbery Award-Winning Author to UC Davis

On February 26, 2019, the School of Education welcomed Newbery Award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly for the annual Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children’s Literature program, a philanthropically funded celebration of acclaimed children’s literature authors and illustrators. 

Kelly gave two public presentations, including one at the Mondavi Center to an audience of more than 1,600 elementary and middle school students. She discussed the importance of curiosity and shared tips and techniques for young writers based on her own writing process. Watch a video of the event, and learn how you can support this important community program here

CANDEL Networking Luncheon Happening Next Week

CANDEL alumni are invited to a CANDEL Networking and Luncheon Event, Saturday, March 16th, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Alpha Gamma Rho Hall in the Walter A. Buehler Alumni Center, UC Davis. At this event, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from Dean Lindstrom about her vision for the School of Education, visit with CANDEL Co-Directors and faculty, and network with CANDEL alumni and students. CANDEL alumni who haven’t received an email invitation should contact Rosaisela Rodriguez, CANDEL Associate Director, at (530) 754-6664 or at rrodr@ucdavis.edu for details. If you have recieved an invitation and plan on attending, please RSVP as soon as possible. We hope you’ll be able to join us!

Log in