Leanna Carollo is a multiple subject credential and
master’s degree candidate in the UC Davis School of Education.
She student-taught in a fifth grade classroom at Glenwood
Elementary in the Robla School District. Prior to joining the
School of Education, Leanna worked as an instructional assistant
for students with severe autism. While completing her
undergraduate studies at the University of Oregon, she researched
U.S. curricula in correlation to the Common Core State Standards
for Math and was a practicum student working in diverse Title I
public schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
Leanna has two published works in The Oregon Undergraduate
Research Journal and Rethinking Schools.
Angelica Cortes (PhD Candidate)
Angelica Cortes is a PhD candidate in the UC Davis
School of Education with an emphasis in mathematics education.
Currently her research is focused on Latina/o STEM majors’
calculus experiences and study approaches. Previously she
obtained her master’s degree in mathematics from California State
University, Fullerton (2009) and her bachelor’s degree in English
at the University of California, Berkeley (2002).
Angie’s experiences as a first-generation community college
student, an underrepresented mathematics major, a community
college mathematics tutor, and a minority college instructor of
developmental mathematics have greatly influenced her research
interests. These include issues of social justice in mathematics,
collaborative learning in mathematics classrooms, developmental
mathematics at the college level, professional development of
mathematics instructors, and college access and equity. Angie’s
future plans include teaching mathematics at the college level
and conducting research with community college students and
2015 Rising Star Alumna
Hilda Millán (BA ’08, Credential ’09, MA ’10)
Hilda Millán was born in Cuernavaca, Morelos,
Mexico. At the age of four, her family relocated to California
where she saw firsthand the cultural impact and importance of
second language acquisition. This, among many other reasons, led
her to double major in Sociology and Chicano/a Studies and double
minor in Spanish and Education. She received her bachelor’s
degree, master’s degree and teaching credential from the
University of California, Davis.
Currently a second grade teacher at Markham Elementary School in
the Vacaville Unified School District, Hilda promotes cultural
diversity and second language acquisition as a dual immersion
teacher in the Spanish/English Peer Immersion Cultural Education
(SPICE) Program. She strongly believes in setting high and
consistent expectations for herself and for her students while
creating a calm and safe learning environment for each person to
grow. She also mentors new teachers in hopes of sharing her
passion for learning with others.
Hilda was nominated 2014 Teacher of the Year at her school site
for her hard work and dedication to her profession, inside and
outside of the classroom.
William McCrary (Credential ’88)
William “Bill” McCrary is an associate professor
and the director of lyric theatre at the University of Texas at
San Antonio (UTSA). He holds degrees from the University of
Montana (Bachelor of Music ‘85), University of California, Davis
(Credential ’88), San Francisco State University (Master of Music
‘91), and the University of Northern Colorado (Doctor of Arts in
Music ‘97), where he graduated with the Graduate Dean’s
Bill has directed and performed in musicals and operas in
California, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, and Texas. He has received
numerous awards for his productions and his students have
performed on Broadway, national tours, and with major opera
companies throughout the United States.
While attending the University of Montana, Bill was an active
performer with the Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) and toured
the nation with the company as an actor/director upon graduation.
Using the MCT model as his inspiration, Bill created his own
touring program at UTSA to introduce young audiences to opera.
For the past 11 years, the UTSA Opera on the Run program has
performed for over 150,000 Texas youth. In 2015, McCrary earned
the UTSA President’s Award for Community Service for this unique
and inspiring program.
Bill holds a third degree black belt in Tai Kwon Do and is a
certified instructor of qigong and tai chi. With his unique
background of martial arts and stage performance, Bill is
studying the effectiveness of qigong on performance anxiety. This
summer Bill will travel to Beijing, China, where he will direct
an opera workshop program as well as continue studying qigong and
Professor Jamal Abedi is an internationally
renowned scholar in the area of educational assessment.
Specializing in educational and psychological assessments, Dr.
Abedi’s research focuses on testing for English language learners
and issues concerning the technical characteristics and
interpretations of these assessments. He is the author of
numerous publications, serves on the advisory committees for
several major assessment organizations, and advises a number of
states on testing for English learners and children with
disabilities. He has received many awards, including the 2014
Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award from the UC Davis
Academic Senate and the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the
California Educational Research Association. Dr. Abedi has served
as faculty member for the UC Davis School of Education since
Outstanding Education Advocate
The Honorable Darrell Steinberg
Darrell Steinberg (J.D. ‘84) is one of the most
respected political leaders in California, having most recently
served as President Pro Tem of the State Senate from 2008 to
2014. His career of more than 20 years in public service also
included six years in both the State Assembly and the Sacramento
City Council. Over the course of his legislative tenure, Darrell
forged difficult agreements to usher the state from a $42 billion
deficit to a surplus budget, implemented groundbreaking mental
healthcare legislation, strengthened the state’s foster care
system, improved K-12 education standards, reformed the statewide
ballot initiative, and made historic investments in California’s
water and transportation infrastructure.
One of Darrell’s signature achievements is the establishment of
the Career Pathways Trust Fund, generating one billion dollars
for ‘Linked Learning’ in California high schools. He also
authored SB 1458 to redefine the Academic Performance Index (API)
by relying less on standardized bubble-test scores and more on
other important factors such as graduation rates, and student
readiness for higher education, technical training, and entering
into a globally competitive job market.
Darrell is currently a shareholder in the Sacramento law office
of Greenberg Traurig, LLC, and chair of the firm’s California
Government Law & Policy Practice. He provides strategic counsel
to clients with matters involving state and local government.
Darrell is also the founder and board chair of The Steinberg
Institute for Advancing Mental Health Policy. A UC Davis visiting
professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral
Sciences, Darrell is director of policy and advocacy for the
School of Medicine’s Behavioral Health Center of Excellence.