General information

2021: Continued Pandemic Research, Major Faculty Grants and Faculty Accomplishments

General School News

The continuing disruptions of COVID-19: The School of Education worked further to navigate the continuously evolving public health crisis by supporting distance learning efforts, research and practice as well as transitioning its workforce to a hybrid in-office schedule.

In addition to conducting research, School of Education faculty participated in webinars on pandemic-related topics, including:

UC Davis LIVE Highlights Impact of COVID-19 on Education: The February edition of UC Davis LIVE featured professors Michal Kurlaender and Kevin Gee, who discussed their research on the impact COVID-19 has had on learning from kindergarten to college, the educational challenges for teachers and students going back to the classroom, and how parents can help students manage the transition.

UC Davis LIVE Features Board of Advisors Member John Bowes: Davis Joint Unified School District superintendent and School of Education Board of Advisors member John Bowes participated in the recent UC Davis LIVE panel on “Safer School Reopening.” Bowes, David Coil of the UC Davis Genome Center and host Soterios Johnson discussed safety preparations made in anticipation of the district resuming in-person instruction, including air filtration, free weekly testing and modified classrooms.

Prof. Kevin Gee Addresses Post-Pandemic Data Collection in MAEC Webinar: Associate Prof. Kevin Gee was a featured speaker in the webinar “Data Collection After COVID-19: What Needs to Change?” hosted by the education nonprofit agency MAEC. Among other topics, the panelists addressed how schools can change past data collection practices that may not have been providing a complete picture, and instead collect data that reveals structural challenges and uncovers lost and newfound learning opportunities.

Additionally, the California Education Lab released their analysis of a survey of nearly 16,000 high school seniors who applied for college financial aid for the 2020-21 academic year, and announced the launch of a second survey. “College Uncertainties: California High School Seniors in Spring of 2020” revealed incoming college students’ significant concerns regarding financial insecurity, remote learning, and health and well-being in the wake of COVID-19. In addition to survey data, the report includes excerpts from some of the 9,000 open-ended written responses provided by respondents. 

$150k Gift for Scholarships and Dean’s Fund: To launch the School’s 2021 Give Day campaigns, we announced the gift of $150,000 from a generous anonymous alumna who designated the support for teaching credential/master’s student scholarships, as well as making a mission-critical, unrestricted gift to our Dean’s Innovation Fund.

On Give Day 2021, the School of Education succeeding in raising a total of $264,238 from 191 gifts. 

PowerSchool: Chancellor Gary May and Provost Mary Croughan joined School leadership to dedicate the new PowerSchool and Microsoft Digital Learning Lab, which gives the School’s students dedicated access to training and tools, including state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and education software.

Transformative Justice Community: The Transformative Justice in Education Center released an evaluation of Sacramento’s Black Child Legacy Campaign, a movement working toward reducing the number of deaths of Black children. The report, “Transformative Justice Community,” is the result of two years of research performed in collaboration with Sacramento State University and the UC Davis Office of Research and Policy for Equity. Prof. Maisha Winn, Prof. Lawrence “Torry” Winn and colleagues highlighted the success and effectiveness of BCLC’s strategies and identify areas of improvement. 

CANDEL student Lizette Navarette selected as one of just 10 finalists in the 2021 UC Davis Grad Slam, in which master’s and doctoral students in disciplines ranging from hard sciences to humanities present for three minutes on their research in a way that is clear, direct and understandable for a general audience. On April 8, she presented “Time to Begin Adulting,” on the need for California community colleges to adapt to and better support adult learners.

In other news:

  • The School is the first university partner selected by PowerSchool to receive a $100,000 gift to establish the PowerSchool Education Fund Award. This impactful fund will provide awards to teaching credential candidates with demonstrated financial need, with priority given to first-generation college students. 
  • Long-time supporters and alumni Sandi Redenbach (’72, Cred. ’73) and Ken Gelatt (’67, Cred. ’68) announced a gift to renovate and completely upgrade a School of Education classroom, transforming it into a 21st-century teaching and learning environment. 
  • School of Education ranked among top 40 education schools in the country.
  • New Dean’s Board of Advisors members appointed: David Chai, strategic advisor for the Alice Waters Edible Schoolyard Project, and Linda Luna, retired superintendent of Washington Unified School District.
  • Literacy event Words Take Wing (in partnership with the Sacramento Public Library) took place virtually, featuring award-winning author of books for children and young adults, Lesa Cline-Ransome.

Faculty News

  • Prof. Gloria M. Rodriguez promoted to full professor, Prof. Alexis Patterson Williams promoted to associate professor and Prof. Marcela Cuellar promoted to associated professor.
  • Prof. Yuuko Uchikoshi appointed the new undergraduate program chair for the School. 
  • Prof. Lola Muldrew joined as new associate chair for teacher education.
  • Profs. Maisha and Torry Winn served as 2021 UC Davis Picnic Day marshals, chosen for their positive impact on campus.
  • Prof. Maisha Winn featured in a UC Davis Women & Philanthropy’s Speaker Series event, “Histories and Futures: Restoring Justice and Transforming Education,” moderated by LeShelle May.
  • ​Prof. Kevin Gee named a 2020-21 UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow, which honors early career research and teaching achievements.
  • Prof. Michal Kurlaender launched program to expand the California Policy Lab with researchers from other UC campuses, funded by the UC Office of the President.
  • Prof. Nicole Sparapani received the 2021-22 Faculty Development Award from the UC Davis Office of the Provost.
  • Prof. and CANDEL Chair Elizabeth Montaño named Scholar of the Quarter by the UC Davis Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Social Science, Arts, and Humanities (CAMPSSAH). 
  • Prof. Marcela Cuellar is one of just 15 scholars across the nation named 2021-2022 Midcareer Fellow by the Student Experience Research Network (SERN).
  • Prof. Cassandra Hart was named an Outstanding Reviewer for 2020 for Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis by the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
  • Profs. Torry Winn and Michal Kurlaender among 16 scholars recognized in 2021 by the Academic Senate and Academic Federation.


School of Education researchers received a variety of funding awards in 2021, including:

Three UC Davis School of Education faculty teams each received $1.7 million grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. Their projects:

  • Improving learning outcomes for students with autism in general education classrooms
    • PI Nicole Sparapani, assistant professor
    • Co-PIs Peter Mundy, professor, and Nancy Tseng, lecturer and supervisor in the multiple subject credential program
  • Assessing whether online instructor professional development improves community college student outcomes
    • PI Cassandra Hart, associate professor
  • Investigating access and outcomes of expanded career technical education in California high schools
    • PI Michal Kurlaender, professor and department chair
    • Co-PI Paco Martorell, associate professor

The Center for Community and Citizen Science received a $250,000 grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to examine the role of community and citizen science in marine protected area implementation.

Prof. Tony Albano was named a co-principal investigator on a $1.4 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences titled “Development of a Responsive Computerized-Adaptive Assessment System for Pre-K Mathematics.”

The REEd Center received five federal Educational Talent Search (ETS) grants totaling $4.8 million over five years to support the continued and expanded work of ETS programs in Sacramento, Solano, Yolo and Shasta counties.

Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research, received a $375,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation for an 18-month project to study participation trends in California’s community colleges, with a focus on determining which demographics of students stopped or slowed their educational trajectories during the pandemic. Wheelhouse also received a grant from College Futures Foundation for $600,000 to expand the center’s support to community college leaders, support a research scholar community and deliver key research on equitable student success, and $500,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for general operating support.

Dr. Maisha Winn and Dr. Lawrence (Torry) Winn, co-founders of the Transformative Justice in Education Center, were named co-principal investigators on a $500,000 Spencer Foundation grant, “Transformative Justice at the Intersection of Schools and Teacher Education.” 

Prof. Danny C. Martinez was named the co-principal investigator on a $443,000 Spencer Foundation grant titled “Centering racialized pre-service teachers: A proleptic re-design of teacher education for leveraging linguistic diversity.” 

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