September 2023 Newsletter

Welcoming New Faculty

The School of Education is pleased to welcome three new associate professors of teaching in education to our faculty.

Dr. Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica poses for a headshot in front of trees while wearing a green shirt.Dr. Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica researches the classroom instruction of bilingual children and the intersections among language, race, ethnicity, gender and culture as they relate to the teaching and learning of Latinx bilingual learners. Rodriguez-Mojica is the principal investigator and project director on a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition to support Spanish–English bilingual instruction in California and New Mexico. Read more about Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica.

Dr. Nancy Tseng poses in a purple shirt for a headshot.Dr. Nancy Tseng researches the development of productive student–teacher relationships in elementary classrooms and practices that support mathematics learning and teaching. She is a co-investigator on a $1.69 million Institute of Education Sciences grant to explore how general education teachers can use inclusive math and literacy instructional practices to support autistic learners in K–3 classrooms. Previously a Lecturer/Supervisor in the School’s Multiple Subject Credential Program, Tseng will continue to serve as the coordinator of the Mandarin Bilingual Authorization Program. Read more about Nancy Tseng.

Dr. Matt Wallace poses in a peach colored shirt for a headshot.Dr. Matt Wallace has been the cohort lead and served as a Lecturer/Supervisor for the School’s Math Credential Program since 2012, preparing students to teach full spectrum mathematics up to AP calculus. He is also the primary faculty advisor for the MA program and coordinates the annual MA symposium. Wallace graduated from UC Davis with a BS in psychology and a minor in math, earned his teaching credential and MA, and taught high school math until returning to UC Davis for his PhD in mathematics education. Read more about Matt Wallace.

Yuuko Uchikoshi Named Associate Dean of Academic Programs

Yuuko Uchikoshi poses for a headshot wearing a pink shirt and black jacket.Prof. Yuuko Uchikoshi has been appointed the Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Instruction for the School of Education and will serve a three-year term. Uchikoshi joined the School’s faculty in 2004. She brings considerable experience and expertise to the role, having served previously as the School’s Undergraduate Programs Chair and Director of Undergraduate Programs. Her research focus is on language and literacy development for dual language learners.

City Nature Challenge Sacramento Crowdfund Campaign

The City Nature Challenge Sacramento overlaid on a photo of people looking at trees.The School of Education’s Center for Community and Citizen Science is inviting friends to support their Crowdfund UC Davis campaign. The center organizes the Sacramento region City Nature Challenge, a four-day event held annually in April. Sacramento is one of hundreds of cities around the globe encouraging people to find and document plants and wildlife by using the iNaturalist app and web platform. Crowdfund support will help organizers coordinate iNaturalist trainings for teachers and community groups, provide supplies and assistance for events where people work together to find and identify as many species as possible, and expand our outreach to new partnering organizations. The Crowdfund campaign starts October 1, but you can make an early gift at the Center for Community and Citizen Science donate page. Please indicate in the comment section that your gift is to be directed to the CNC Crowdfund Campaign.

Faculty News

Lauren Lindstrom’s South Africa Collaboration

Lauren Lindstrom takes a selfie with Max Sefotho.Prof. Lauren Lindstrom has recently returned from her sabbatical trip to South Africa, Botswana and Lesotho, and has documented her experiences in a travel blog. She was hosted by Prof. Maximus Sefotho, pictured at right, from the Faculty of Education at the University of Johannesburg. Their joint project focuses on building capacity for schools and communities to support young people with disabilities in the transition from school to inclusive employment.

Alicia Rusoja and Ryan Meyer Named Faculty Fellows

Dr. Ryan Meyer (left) and Alicia Rusoja (right).Prof. Alicia Rusoja and Dr. Ryan Meyer, Executive Director of the Center for Community and Citizen Science, have both been named Faculty Fellows by the UC Davis Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement. The fellowship comes with a $1,000 grant in support of their initiatives, and this year’s cohort will meet monthly through March 2024 to advance their public engagement skills and pursue their public scholarship projects. The Faculty Fellows program recognizes outstanding individuals dedicated to advancing public scholarship and to making academic research more accessible to all. Read more about the Faculty Fellows’ projects.

Ujima GIRL Camp Comes to UC Davis

LeShelle May points towards an audience full of people raising their hands.This July, Prof. Faheemah Mustafaa and colleagues welcomed African American/Black middle and high school girls who participated in the summer Ujima GIRL (Girls in Robotics Leadership) Camp. Students came from Antioch, Sacramento and Stockton to tour campus, visit the Diane Bryant Student Design Center and other engineering labs in Bainer Hall, and hear from keynote speaker LeShelle May.

The Ujima GIRL Project addresses the significant challenges of inclusion and equity for Black/African American middle and high school girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through a hands-on coding and robotics program provided within a culturally relevant environment. This project is funded by a $2.4 million National Science Foundation grant, and Mustafaa is co-principal investigator with Dr. Harry Cheng, College of Engineering.

Marcela Cuellar Team Releases Report on Hispanic-Serving Community Colleges

Dr. Marcela Cuellar in a blue shirt during an interview.The School of Education’s Prof. Marcela Cuellar, PhD candidate Mayra Nuñez Martinez and Alicia Bencomo Garcia, PhD ’23, and UC Berkeley’s Prof. Gina A. Garcia discussed their new report “Building Capacity for Equity and Servingness across California’s Hispanic-Serving Community Colleges” in a webinar in August. View the report and a video featuring Cuellar and Garcia discussing their findings.

Alumni News

Beatriz Chaidez poses for a headshot in a blue shirt.Beatriz Chaidez, EdD ’16, has been named the interim chancellor of San José – Evergreen Community College District. Until her appointment, Chaidez was serving as vice chancellor of human resources to the district, and previously has held various roles in K-12 administration, including assistant superintendent of both the Salinas City Elementary School District and Sacramento City Unified School District.


Tico Zendejas poses for a headshot in a blue suit, blue shirt, and paisley tie.Tico Zendejas, EdD ’19, has been appointed as the manager of Yolo County’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He will serve as a change agent, advisor, and strategic partner to the County’s leadership team. Zendejas previously served as the Executive Director of nonprofit R.I.S.E. Inc. He also serves on the Yolo County Office of Education Board of Trustees, where he advocates for youth development.


Jose Bermudez poses for a headshot in a dark blue shirt.Jose Bermudez, Cred. ’06, MA ’07, started his new role as Winters Middle School principal in July. Bermudez grew up attending schools in the Winters Joint Unified School District, taught at César Chávez Elementary in Davis, and served as principal at Edwin Markham Elementary School in Vacaville before his new role in Winters. 


Lina Mendez poses for a headshot in a red dress.Lina Mendez, PhD ’10, was the featured guest on the monthly talk show Face to Face With Chancellor May. As the inaugural director of UC Davis Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives, Mendez is responsible for implementing the recommendations of the HSI Task Force and leading their future work. She previously served as the founding associate director of the UC Davis Center for Chicanx and Latinx Academic Student Success. 

Student News

Jaime Ramirez-Mendoza poses for a headshot in a white shirt and a black suit jacket.PhD student Jaime Ramirez-Mendoza has received a 2023 Equity & Inclusion Graduate Student Fellowship from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. The fellowships are awarded to 40 graduate students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds so that they can travel to and participate in the 2023 Annual Fall Research Conference in Atlanta, Georgia this November. 


Hodari Davis poses for a headshot in a light blue shirt and a dark blue vest.PhD student Hodari Davis received the Engaged Scholarship and Scholar Activism Award from the UC Davis Equity Summit in May. He is a partner and chief innovation officer of Edutainment for Equity, a consulting and production company that specializes in equity and inclusion, strategic planning and futures thinking, and youth development and education.


Teacher Education Program Kicks off the Academic Year

Two people pose outdoors for the camera while holding up pieces of paper.In August, the School welcomed our incoming teaching credential students at the UC Davis Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center to hear about program expectations and resources, network with other students and meet their cohorts, do community building exercises, and begin their preparations for the upcoming year. View the kick-off event photo gallery.

Teacher Education Supervisors Annual Conference

The logo for the Supervisors of Teacher Education Network TeamThis summer, the Supervisors of Teacher Education Network Team (STENT) held its 4th annual summer conference, focusing on equity and social justice practices for supervisors who support and guide credential candidates. Twenty-three different teacher education programs and over 120 teacher educators from across California came together to build community, exchange ideas and share resources. STENT is led by Dr. Lisa Sullivan at UC Davis, along with a team of teacher educators from UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego and Cal Poly Humboldt. The event was coordinated in partnership with the California Council on Teacher Education, which includes numerous School of Education researchers.

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. Anthony D. Albano co-authored “Growth and Utility of Language and Early Literacy Measures for Young Children,” published in Journal of Early Intervention.

Prof. Heidi Ballard co-authored “Community‐driven science and science education: Living in and navigating the edges of equity, justice, and science learning,” published in Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

PhD candidate Sandy L. Birkeneder, postdoctoral scholar Jennifer Bullen, Nancy McIntyre, PhD ’15, Matthew C. Zajic, PhD ’18, Lindsay Lerro, PhD ’17, Marjorie Solomon, Prof. Nicole Sparapani and Prof. Peter Mundy co-authored “The Construct Validity of the Childhood Joint Attention Rating Scale (C‑JARS) in School‑Aged Autistic Children,” published in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

PhD student Audrey Boochever and Prof. Heather Rose co-authored “Student-Teacher Ethnoracial Matching at Charter and Traditional Public Schools,” published in Journal of School Choice.

Prof. Darnel Degand published the article “‘The Last Word’ from The Source: André LeRoy Davis’ contributions to Hip Hop and comics” in Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics

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