September 2019 Newsletter

Center for Community and Citizen Science Awarded $2.3 Million NSF Grant for Nevada County Forest Health Project

Landscape of pine trees, mountains and fogIn partnership with the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools and the Sierra Streams Institute, the School of Education’s Center for Community and Citizen Science (CCS) has received a $2.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study youth learning through environmental science research related to forest health. CCS will train and support elementary school teachers as they work with their students, local environmental scientists and community organizations to study local forests and fire risk in Nevada County, California.

Over the next four years, CCS and its partners will collaborate with teachers and ecologists to design targeted materials and connect youth learning to the community-identified issue of forest health. “Our project will examine the impacts of three key features of citizen science—collecting, analyzing and sharing data—on student environmental science learning and agency over several design cycles,” said the project team. “We aim to create a replicable model of science standards-aligned, school-based community and citizen science that can be used in classrooms beyond Nevada County after the project ends.” Find out more about CCS’s work with youth-based community and citizen science on our website. You can also stay up to date with CCS by following the CCS blog and signing up for the CCS e-newsletter.

Transformative Justice in Education Center Receives New Grants and Special Journal Issue

TJE hosts a circle-up with people seated in chairs talking to each otherIn fall 2017, the School of Education’s Transformative Justice in Education Center (TJE) hosted a research convening to envision a transformative justice teacher education. Funded by the Spencer Foundation, the event brought together education researchers from across the nation. Their work is now available in a special issue of Theory Into Practice, edited by Prof. Maisha Winn and Prof. Torry Winn, featuring articles from School of Education faculty and graduate students. The Spencer Foundation has generously provided TJE with the Spencer Learning Communities Grant to hold a similar research convening in fall 2019 to continue this critical work.

Additionally, Winn and Winn, in collaboration with Dr. Vajra Watson and the UC Davis Office of Research and Policy for Equity, have received a planning grant from UC Davis to develop a Quarter at Aggie Square program titled “Transformative Research, Teaching and Learning: A Social-Cultural-Community Justice Education.” Quarter at Aggie Square will allow groups of 15-25 undergraduate students to focus on a specific topic important to our society, working across multiple disciplines, on an urban campus. 

Wheelhouse Hosts Third Annual California Community College Scholars Retreat

Community College Scholars Retreat attendees gather around a table to discuss issuesLast month, more than 50 researchers, practitioners and graduate students all working on California community college (CCC) issues came together for a 1.5-day retreat hosted by Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research in Berkeley, California. It was the third annual, and largest yet, convening of CCC researchers to discuss California-specific research. Participants heard presentations from scholars representing the UC system (UC Davis, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego), University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Community College Research Center (Columbia University) and the Public Policy Institute of California, among others. The event also featured talks by special guest speakers Lande Ajose, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom, and Daisy Gonzales, Deputy Chancellor of the California Community Colleges.

Participants engaged with each other about new work, explored opportunities for future collaboration and learned more about recent policy developments in the CCCs. Wheelhouse leadership was especially pleased to host a dozen graduate students at the event, supporting the next generation of researchers who will have a significant impact on the CCCs. Wheelhouse is grateful to the College Futures Foundation for its support of this convening. Interested in community college research and leadership development? Make sure to sign up for Wheelhouse’s mailing list.

School of Education Faculty Spend Summer Abroad

Megan Welsh poses with other researchers in front of an OECD bannerMargarita Jimenez-Silva poses with students in front of UC Davis Chile Center bannerGroup of scholars, including Maisha Winn and Torry Winn, smile at cameraBrick building with signs in English and Japanese saying Graduate School of EducationSchool of Education faculty members conduct and present research throughout the summer here in Davis and all around the world. From Austria to Chile to Japan, here’s how a few of our professors have been spending their summers:

Prof. Heidi Ballard was recently in Italy for a conference organized by the European Science Education Research Association. She also went to Austria earlier in the summer to give a public talk and attend an expert meeting about citizen science with the Ministry of Science and Education. 

Prof. Margarita Jimenez-Silva traveled to Chile to discuss innovation in education and future opportunities for collaboration between UC Davis and the Universidad del Desarrollo.

Prof. Megan Welsh is spending the 2019-2020 academic year at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris working with data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). She will both contribute to the development of PISA’s innovative domain test and conduct research on methods for comparing performance between countries.

Prof. Maisha Winn and Prof. Torry Winn traveled to Toyko, Japan this summer to attend the World Education Research Association Conference alongside colleagues from across the globe. 


You’re Invited: Fall Welcome 

People sit at tables with balloons on grassy field for Fall Welcome event Our annual Fall Welcome event will take place Monday, September 23, 2019, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Olson Hall North Lawn, adjacent to the School of Education Building. Join us for food and fun as we kick off the academic year and welcome our new students! All alumni, students, faculty, staff and family members are welcome to this free event, which includes a casual dinner, lawn games for the kids and a raffle. Please RSVP by September 16 on our website

TJE Speaker Series: Restorative Justice in New Zealand

Portrait of Helen BowenThe School of Education’s Transformative Justice in Education Center (TJE) will be hosting a public lecture about restorative justice in New Zealand (NZ) on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at 5 p.m., in the Multipurpose Room, UC Davis Student Community Center.

Portrait of Rawiri PeneThe event will feature Matua (Teacher) Rawiri Pene, Māori Cultural Advisor to the Ministry of Justice in Auckland, NZ, and Helen Bowen, restorative justice attorney in Auckland, NZ. Helen Bowen is a New Zealand criminal barrister, youth advocate and Drug Court lawyer. She has provided restorative justice training services nationally and internationally including working with the Thames Valley Police in London and community groups in Northern Ireland. Matua Rawiri Pene (Nga Puhi, Tainui) is the AODT Courts Pou Oranga (the Courts’ tikanga cultural advisor and recovery role model), an innovation of the AODT Courts in Aotearoa, NZ. He brings his extensive lived experience of recovery with his knowledge of Te Reo Maori me ona Tikanga (Maori language and protocols) to the role. Learn more about the featured speakers and event on our website


  • Dr. Robert Martinez (MA ‘92), an alumnus and frequent supporter of our JSAT program, has been appointed as the new superintendent of Mt. Diablo Unified School District in the Bay Area.
  • Michele Ward (Cred. ‘99) recently started as the new principal of Tierra Bonita Elementary School in Poway, California.
  • Four of our teaching credential and master’s alumni recently started teaching in new classrooms across the Sonoma area. 

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

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