May 2023 Newsletter

Featured News

Four Faculty Promoted to Professor

We are pleased to announce that associate professors Kevin Gee, Cassandra M. Hart, Lee Martin and Paco Martorell have all been promoted to full professor in recognition of their research accomplishments, their service contributions inside and outside the university, their excellence in teaching, and their commitments to diversity and equity. Their promotions are effective as of July 1, 2023.

Emerging Scholars Panel

The School of Education and Graduate Group in Education presented the Emerging Scholars panel, “Expanding Equity in Research on Language, Race & Culture, and Intersectionality & Policy” on May 11. The event showcased critical, diverse disciplinary perspectives in education from exceptional pre-tenure scholars Drs. Sofía E. Chaparro, Lauren Leigh Kelly, Manali Sheth and Krystal L. Williams. View the Emerging Scholars webinar recording.

Shirley LeRoy Gift Establishes New Fund

We’re pleased to announce that Shirley LeRoy has established the LeRoy Family Fund for Neurodiversity at the School of Education. Her generous gift will fund the planning and development of an innovative educational model for our teaching credential candidates, helping them to remove instructional barriers to learning so that all their students, including those who are neurodivergent, will be able to thrive and succeed. Watch the video of LeRoy sharing her story about why this work is personal to her, and the changes she hopes her gift will make. You can help make a difference as well with a gift to the LeRoy Family Fund for Neurodiversity.

Faculty News

Kevin Gee Research into Absenteeism and Bullying Against Asian American Youth

Prof. Kevin Gee has co-authored the report “Disparities in Unexcused Absences Across California Schools,” published by PACE, and a related commentary article in EdSource titled “Disparities in ‘Unexcused’ Absences Deepen Education Inequities.” This research was featured in Education Week articles “Some Students Are Less Likely to Have Absences Excused: Why That Matters for Schools” and “3 Signs That Schools Are Sending the Wrong Message About Attendance.”

Gee also co-authored the commentary “Chronic Absenteeism Post-Pandemic: Let’s Not Make This Our ‘New Normal,’” also published by PACE.

In April, Gee presented “School Bullying and Hate Speech Against Asian American Youth: What Can Schools Do?” as part of the North Carolina State University College of Education speaker series. Gee was featured in a story by CBS Sacramento on the funding for his related research project.

Lauren Lindstrom Featured in IES Profile

Professor and Dean Lauren E. Lindstrom was featured in an Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education article about her research, which explores the influence of gender on career development for youth with disabilities and learning differences. Lindstrom and colleagues developed Paths 2 the Future, a career development curriculum for students with disabilities with gender-specific versions for young women and men. The article is one of a series highlighting important and impactful research on a number of dimensions of diversity. Read “Paving Better Paths to the Future through Gender-Specific Curricula Interventions.”

Research News

Wheelhouse Releases New Research, Webinar on Student Belonging

Join us on May 22 from 2–3 pm for a webinar on new research into a promising faculty professional development effort to build a greater sense of student belonging and efficacy in community college courses. The research was recently released in the report “Toward Belonging in the Community College Classroom: Lessons from the Learning for Equity Ascend Research Network (LEARN),” and documents the learnings of faculty at two California community colleges as they used survey technology to monitor student experience and adjust their teaching practices in real time. Speakers will include report author Claudia Escobar, PhD ’20, former Wheelhouse Associate Director for Learning and Research, who followed the pilot for more than a year.

Global Affairs Grants for Center Directors

Two of the School’s center directors have received UC Davis Global Affairs 2022-23 grants.

Center for Community and Citizen Science Executive Director Ryan Meyer, with postdoctoral scholar M.V. Eitzel, received the Advancing Sustainable Development Goals grant for their project “Multilayered Community-Based Assessment of Sustainable Development Goals in Rural Zimbabwe.”

Center for Applied Policy in Education Executive Director Christina Murdoch, with Professor Emeritus Thomas Timar, was awarded a Seed Grant for International Activities for the project “Comparative International Research in Education Policy to Address Educational Inequities,” which will involve research in Bavaria, Germany.

Student and Alumni News

Chris Jadallah Named Emerging Scholar

Chris Jadallah, PhD ’23, has been named an Emerging Scholar by the International Society of the Learning Sciences. This honor comes with a $10,000 grant, funded by the Wallace Foundation, to support Jadallah’s new line of community-engaged research that will examine the sociopolitical commitments of farm and garden educators of color. Read about Jadallah’s research and award.

Alumni Publish Collection of Classroom Activities for Writing Teachers

Dr. Michal Reznizki, PhD ’16 and Dr. David Coad, PhD ’19 have co-edited Dynamic Activities for First-Year Composition: 96 Ways to Immerse, Inspire, and Captivate Students, published by the National Council of Teachers of English. The book includes tried and proven teaching activities to help both novice and experienced teachers plan, prepare, and implement writing instruction in college. Learn more about their book.

Events and Webinars

HSI Showcase Recording Available

Recordings are now available of “Avanza: Cultivating Chicanx/Latinx Leaders for the Future,” the UC Davis 2023 Hispanic Serving Institution Showcase that took place in March. The event featured multiple School of Education faculty and alumni, including Prof. Marcela Cuellar, Prof. Danny C. Martinez, Prof. Alicia Rusoja, HSI Director Lina Mendez, PhD ’10 (pictured) and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Pablo Guillermo Reguerín, EdD ’17. Watch the HSI Showcase videos.

New Speaker Series: Education Career Chats

On May 16, the School of Education and Graduate Group in Education premiered a new speaker series called Education Career Chats. The series will provide UC Davis doctoral students an opportunity to learn from individuals who earned doctoral degrees in education and landed jobs outside of academe. Our inaugural speaker was Dr. Rafiqah Mustafaa, the assistant director of learning and improvement at the nonprofit organization Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Show Off with School of Education Gear

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.


Erin Bridges Bird, PhD ’19. Prof. Heidi L. Ballard and Margaret Harte published “Data to decision-making: How elementary students use their Community and Citizen Science project to reimagine their school campus” in Instructional Science.

Dr. Car Mun Kok co-authored “Youth Science Learning as/for Community Participation: Examples from Youth Participatory Action Research,” published in  Journal of Youth Development.

Prof. Peter Mundy published “Research on social attention in autism and the challenges of the research domain criteria (RDoC) framework” in Autism Research.

Prof. Alicia Rusoja co-authored “‘Mi Lucha es Tu Lucha; Tu Lucha es Mi Lucha’: Latinx immigrant youth organizers facilitating a new common sense through coalitional multimodal literacies,” published in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

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