March 2020 Newsletter

Michal Kurlaender Elected to National Academy of Education

Prof. Michal Kurlaender, department chair at the School of Education, has been elected into the National Academy of Education. The Academy consists of leading US and international education researchers who are chosen for membership on the basis of their outstanding scholarship in the field of education. Fifteen new scholars were invited to join the Academy this year.  

Kurlaender, whose research mainly examines K-12 and postsecondary alignment, is a leading researcher for Policy Analysis for California Education, the California Education Lab, and Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research. Congratulations, Prof. Kurlaender!

School of Education Faculty to Lead New Community-Focused Quarter at Aggie Square Experiences

Aggie Square—the new UC Davis innovation center in Sacramento—has announced its first year of curriculum for undergraduates in fall–winter 2020–21, and School of Education Prof. Margarita Jiménez-SilvaProf. Maisha Winn and Prof. Lawrence (Torry) Winn will all be leading new Quarter at Aggie Square Experiences. These new “Experiences” will be a cohort model in which undergraduate participants’ entire course of study for the quarter will be within the program. Each Experience incorporates 13 to 18 units, including internships or research, as well as community outreach opportunities.

Transformative Justice Studies in Sacramento,” an Experience co-led by Winn, Winn, Dr. Vajra Watson and Prof. Orly Clerge, builds on long-standing relationships with community educational organizations in Sacramento to address issues of social justice. “Multilingual Education for California”—an Experience co-led by Jiménez-Silva and Prof. Agustina Carando—addresses the urgent need for bilingual educators by training a cohort of Spanish–English bilingual teachers through courses in education and Latinx language and culture, and internship hours at the Language Academy of Sacramento (which is adjacent to Aggie Square). Learn more about these new programs of study on the UC Davis News website.

Dean Lauren Lindstrom Honored with AERA Distinguished Researcher Award

Dean Lauren Lindstrom recently received a Distinguished Researcher Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Special and Inclusive Education Special Interest Group. Lindstrom has made significant, international-reaching contributions to the field of special education, particularly in the area of career development and post-school outcomes for youth with disabilities. Her research mainly focuses on improving outcomes for young women with disabilities, underserved youth, and the role of families in career development. According to one colleague in her field, Lindstrom has a “strong and enduring commitment to finding ways of ensuring youth with disabilities have the very best chance of flourishing in their schools, in their communities and in their daily lives. She is doing the work that matters most in the lives of diverse students and their families.” Congratulations, Dean Lindstrom!

Inaugural Expanding Equity in Education Research Speaker Series Event

On February 26, 2020, the School of Education’s new Expanding Equity in Education Research Speaker Series welcomed Nolan Cabrera and Gina Garcia to discuss “Challenging Dominant Narratives in Higher Education Research.” This speaker series brings multidisciplinary experts to UC Davis to explore how faculty and students can use their research to shift practices and create more equitable outcomes across the educational field. 

Cabrera, an award-winning scholar and nationally recognized expert in the areas of racism/anti-racism on college campuses, whiteness and ethnic studies, and Garcia, a leading scholar on Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), presented their research and insights around the myth of “post-racial” higher education, the racialization of postsecondary institutions and more. Their presentations were also followed by a panel discussion moderated by Prof. Marcela Cuellar. Watch a full video of the event on our YouTube channel.

REEd Center Receives Wallace Foundation Grant to Support School Improvement Nationwide

Resourcing Excellence in Education (REEd), a research center in the School of Education, has received a grant to support the ESSA Leadership Learning Community, a national partnership of the Council of Great City Schools, Council of Chief State School Officers, and the National Urban League, funded by the Wallace Foundation.

The ESSA Leadership Learning Community is designed to assist states and districts as they figure out how to best use Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) funds with the goal of implementing supports and interventions to turn around schools most in need of improvement. Working directly with states and districts, the group is focused on building the capacity of education leaders to work in low-performing schools, creating models and sharing best practices. “We’re excited about this partnership because it creates a community of states and districts all trying to improve school systems on behalf of underrepresented school populations,” said Carlas McCauley, the School of Education’s director of research and partnerships and executive director of REEd. Learn more about REEd on our website

PhD Student Yared Portillo Named 2020 Mellon Public Scholar

School of Education PhD student Yared Portillo has been chosen as a 2020 Mellon Public Scholar. She is the first student from the School of Education to be awarded this community engagement-based fellowship. Every year, the Mellon Public Scholars Program invites 12 UC Davis graduate students in the arts, humanities and humanistic social sciences to participate in a quarter-long spring seminar that introduces them to the intellectual and practical aspects of public humanities scholarship. Each student is paired with a faculty mentor to develop a community-based research project and spends the summer following the seminar working with a community partner. 

Portillo’s project, “The Fandango as Multimodal Cultural Literacy Practice for Transnational Mexican Youth,” will develop community-based workshops on the fandango, which is the communal celebration of Son Jarocho, a participatory music from Veracruz, Mexico, where Indigenous, African and Spanish roots intersect. “This is a collaborative inquiry into how we shape and reshape our community’s political, cultural, social and transnational literacy practices through learning, teaching and making music together,” said Portillo. “With this project, we aim to open up a space of conversation around the lives of our Mexican and immigrant communities in Sacramento.” 


Save the Date: UC Davis Give Day, April 17-18, 2020

UC Davis Give Day—the annual 29-hour giving event celebrating the areas on campus most important to you—is happening next month! The UC Davis community collectively raised more than $2 million during last year’s Give Day, and the School of Education had a record-breaking year with over $23,000 raised from more than 70 gifts. We’re now gearing up for the fourth annual Give Day, which takes place in conjunction with Picnic Day on April 17-18, 2020. Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and April e-newsletter for more information soon about how you can help support School of Education students, research and community outreach programs. 

POSTPONED: CANDEL Networking and Luncheon Event

This event has been postponed. It will not take place on March 14. Follow-up information on rescheduling the event will be shared at a later date.

CANDEL alumni are invited to a CANDEL Networking and Luncheon Event, Saturday, March 14, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Alpha Gamma Rho Hall in the Walter A. Buehler Alumni Center, UC Davis. Join School of Education Dean Lauren Lindstrom, CANDEL faculty speakers, current CANDEL students and fellow alumni for updates about the future of CANDEL and the opportunity to network with the CANDEL community. 


Last week, CANDEL alumni came together for the second annual American River College Symposium on Research to Practice: Addressing Inequities in Higher Education. Cynthia Sommer (EdD ’18), Thoeung Mim Montgomery (EdD ’17), Tina Jordan (EdD ’14) and Torence Powell (EdD ’17) all presented at this interactive professional development opportunity for students and higher education leaders.

In other news, School of Education alumnus Nathan Kwan (’17, Cred. ’18, MA ’19)—a chemistry and physics teacher at Da Vinci Charter Academy, and a marathon runner—is going to the Olympic Trials. And alumna Maria Martinez (MA ’09), principal at Science and Technology Academy at Knights Landing, recently sat down with the Daily Democrat to discuss her career

Have your own news to share with us? Email us at ed-alumni@ucdavis.edu.

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