General information

2016: Innovating and Implementing Ways to Nurture English Learners

FALL 2016

Author in Residence: The new Author in Residence is award-winning poet and author Noami Shihab Nye. As an Author in Residence, she will work with the School of Education teaching credential candidates, as well as directly with Sacramento-area students. 

Don Wilson Memorial Award for Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher: Agricultural Credential Lecturer and Supervisor Lynn Martindale received the Don Wilson Memorial Award for Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher from the California Agricultural Teacher’s Association (CATA). Each year CATA gives this award to one outstanding California agricultural education teacher who has taught for at least 20 years. The award recognizes Martindale’s outstanding participation and leadership in civic, community, agriculture, agribusiness and professional activities.

Statewide Assessment Design Team: Professor Rebecca Ambrose, Director of Teacher Education, is serving on the CalTPA design team to help improve the assessment of credential candidates statewide. The teacher preparation programs are revising their curricula to meet new standards and teaching performance expectations issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and the Commission’s widely used California Teaching Performance Assessment (CalTPA) also must be updated.  

RAD Center Providing Reading Services for Children: The Reading and Academic Development (RAD) Center is now serving children from 5-18 years old who have reading difficulties. The Center provides assessments to evaluate the causes of children’s reading issues and individually tailored programs to improve their reading skills.

UCD Professor Emily Solari to serve on Credential Workgroup: Professor Emily Solari has been appointed by University of California President Janet Napolitano to serve as a UC representative on the 2016 Education Specialist Preliminary Credential Workgroup of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

New Executive Director appointed to the School of Education’s Development and External Relations office: Barbara Celli has been named the School of Education’s Executive Director of Development and External Relations after serving as the part time Interim Director since June. Celli brings 12 years of senior-level experience at UC Davis, where she has raised major and transformational gifts in support of student scholarships, research and outreach programs.

Professor Alexis Patterson in Washington D.C. with members of the Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives (CAMPOS): Professor Patterson with members of CAMPOS attended the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the trip is to first attend the conference and learn about what’s happening in health, education, technology, the sciences and more. Secondly, to meet with elected representatives who’ve advocated for the CAMPOS program to update them about the impact of CAMPOS on participating professors and also on students and to talk about the program’s goals and aspirations.

New Scholarship Established: Longtime School donors Sandi Redenbach (’72, Cred. ’73) and Ken Gelatt (’67, Cred. ’68) partnered with Nancy Patten (BS ’74, Cred. ’75) and Tom Patten (BS ’74, Cred. ’76) to honor Founding Dean Harold Levine on his retirement through the Sandi Redenbach and Ken Gelatt STEM Scholarship. The fund supports teaching credential students who plan a career focus on STEM subjects in public schools. The Pattens established their own scholarship, the Next Generation STEM Teaching Award in 2014. Hanna Moore, this year’s scholarship recipient, was so inspired by her experiences as a student teacher that her goal is to teach in an underserved middle or high school to address inequalities in the public-school system. 

Major Grants for REED Increase Impact for Students: Resourcing Excellence in Education (REED) has received two U.S. Department pf Education awards: a $2.5 million National Professional Development grant and a $3.2 million improving Teacher Quality grant. The grants will help REED to build instructional capacity system-wide to meet the needs of young English learners (ELs), as well as continue its efforts in ensuring that teacher support is an integral component of every professional growth system in California.

Professor Trexler and Team Assist with New Ag School Opening in Haiti: Professor Trexler and his team, which includes Ag Ed Program Supervisor Lynn Martindale and retired Davis faculty members, are starting the fourth year of a professional development project in Haiti.  The majority of food eaten in Haiti – one of the poorest nations in the world – comes from off the island, making its citizens highly dependent on other nations for survival. In partnership with local farmers and the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, they recently helped re-open Ecole Moyenne d’Agriculture de Dondon, an agricultural training school that had been closed for 35 years.  The school opened in January and included women students for the first time in school’s history.

Study Sheds New Light on College Readiness: The UC Davis School of Education researchers are discovering a harsh reality: The classes that high school students are required to take in order to qualify for college admissions don’t actually guarantee that they’re ready to succeed in college. The School of Education has partnered with the California Department of Education to examine the course requirements – usually referred to as the A-G requirements-that are used to help indicate eligibility for both the University of California and California State University systems.  The study found that despite completing A-G requirements, 40 percent of students were unable to demonstrate college readiness in English and 44 percent were unable to demonstrate college readiness in math.  In addition, the California State University system deemed 34 percent of students who met A-G requirements as needing remediation in English and at least 3 percent in math. 

Project and Research Director, Sherrie Reed said that high school administrators need to know how their graduates perform in college, how many need remediation, what their GPAs are, and if they get degrees.

That’s why the School of Education partnership with the Department of Education is both important and unique. Ultimately, the goals is to be able to see that students are getting a more rigorous school system that prepares them for the kinds of futures they face once they’ve graduated.

Professor Abedi Receives Spencer Grant: Professor Jamal Abedi has received a Lyle Spencer Research Award from the Spencer Foundation for the four-year $1 million project “Distinguishing Low Proficiency English Language Learners from Students with Disabilities: Developing a Valid Classification System for all English Language Learners.” The goal of the research is to ensure that English learners with and without disabilities are fairly assessed so that they can receive the educational services they need.

Professor Sparapani’s Joint Appointment at MIND: Professor Nicole Sparapani has received a joint appointment to the MIND Institute, where she will conduct research and collaborate with faculty.  Her study “Profiles of Foundational Learning Skills among First Graders” was published this summer in Learning and Individual Differences.


Wheelhouse Center Opens: The UC Davis School of Education, in partnership with the California Community Colleges, has funded Wheelhouse, a center devoted to supporting current and future community college leaders through professional development and research.  Professor Michal Kurlaender is the lead researcher, and Susanna Cooper is the managing director.

New Associate Deans at the UC Davis School of Education: Associate Professor Cynthia Carter Ching has been appointed Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Instruction and Professor Peter Mundy is the new Associate Dean for Academic Personnel and Research at the School Education.

Maisha T. Winn and Lawrence Winn Join School of Education: This summer we will also Maisha T. Winn, PhD and Lawrence (Torry) Winn, JD to the School of Education. Maisha T. Winn has been appointed as a Professor, and the UC Davis Chancellor and Provost additionally have extended her the new honorary designation of “Chancellor’s Leadership Professor.”  Torry Winn will serve as an Academic Administrator. The Winns, who are married will jointly develop a center for restorative justice to be located within the School of Education. 

Nicole Sparapani Joins Faculty: Nicole Sparapani, PhD will join the School of Education faculty this summer as an Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Education. Sparapani, who earned her doctorate in Communication Science and Disorders at Florida State University, is a certified speech-language pathologist.  She completed her postdoctoral studies on individualizing student instruction at Arizona State University and the Institute for the Science of Teaching and Learning.

REED and Districts Soar Together: REEd’s strategic Observation and Reflection (SOAR) Teaching Frames, as set of high-impact practices, are now being implemented across the state.  The SOAR frames are being used with 20 California LEAs, and in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District, REEd has launched a SOAR fellowship program for 70 district staff and 50 teacher-principal teams.  The Sonoma County Office of Education also is using the frames in a teacher leadership certificate program.

Professor Jamal Abedi Recognized Nationally and Internationally: Professor Abedi, who has dedicated his research career to improving the educational outcomes of English Language Learners, was honored with the 2016 E.F. Lindquist Award, co-sponsored by the American Educational Research Association and the American College Testing Program. 

Professor Cassandra Hart Receives the NAE/Spencer Fellowship: Assistant Professor Hart has been selected to be a 2016 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. This nonresidential postdoctoral fellowship supports early career scholars working in critical areas of education research by funding proposals that make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education.

Professor Peter Mundy on Autism and Joint Attention: This spring, Professor Peter Mundy, a Professor of Education and Associate Dean for Academic Personnel and Research at the School of Education, published Autism and Joint Attention: Development, Neuroscience, and Clinical Fundamentals. Mundy who is a developmental psychologist has worked on defining the nature of autism and developmental disabilities for more than 30 years.

The School of Education Thanks Six Heroic Educators: This May, the UC Davis School of Education gathered six heroic educators and thanked them for their service. They are as follows:

  • Outstanding Teaching Credential Student – Maria Jose May
  • Outstanding Doctoral Student – Mariama Smith Gray
  • Outstanding Faculty – Steven Athanases
  • Rising Star Alumna – MelaniePope
  • Distinguished Alumna – Caroline Turner
  • Outstanding Education Advocate – Carl A. Cohn

Sherrie Reed (PhD ’15) has Joined the School of Education: Sherrie Reed has joined the School of Education as Project & Research Director for the Partnership for Research on College & Career Readiness.  Reed was the director of Research for New Tech Network while completing her PhD with an emphasis in School Organization and Education Policy. 

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