General information

CANDEL Grads 2010

Graduates of the UC Davis Educational Leadership programThe following students received their Doctorate in Educational Leadership at UC Davis, June 2010:

Allegra Alessandri-Pfeifer

Current Position

Principal, George Washington Carver School of Arts and Sciences, Sacramento City Unified School District

Research Interests

Student engagement and achievement, California standards in a public Waldorf high school, Data inquiry using a holistic approach


“Parent Leaders as Agents of Change: A Case Study of One High School Reform Effort”

Parent Leaders as Agents of Change explores the history of one high school reform effort organized and led by a group of parents over a seven year period.  The study also examines the variety of leadership styles this group used to achieve their goal of opening a small innovative high school.

Other Degrees

B.A., Ponoma College, Claremont, 1986
M.A., Georgetown University, 1994


Nancy Resendes Chinn

Current Position

Department Chair/Disability Specialist, Disability Resources Department
Acquired Brain Injury Specialist, Sports Medicine Program
Santa Rosa Junior College

Research Interest

Management of Concussion in College Sports


“Concussion Assessment in California Community College Football: Athletic Trainers’ Strides Toward a Safer Return to Play”
My dissertation was a mixed method study that addressed the assessment and management of concussion in California Community College (CCC) football. The research looked at to what extent athlete trainers are following established standards for the management of concussion in CCC, and to determine what factors contribute to the implementation of best practices in concussion management.

Other Degrees

B.A., San Francisco State University, 1986
M.S., San Francisco State University, 1988


Brian F. Donnelly


“Digital Portfolios- The Students’ Voices”
B.A., Marist College, 1975
M.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design, 1980


Nicholas J. Osborne


Current Position

Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Veteran Support Services, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Research Interests

Gender and Masculinities, Veterans, Community Building, Emotional Intelligence


“Building a New Type of Undergraduate Male Community: Program Evaluation & Advocacy of College-Based Men’s Groups & Men’s Resource Center for Gender Equity, Leadership and Service”

My dissertation investigated a college-based men’s group program and evaluated its potential for supporting college males in building community through ongoing reflections and authentic discussions of their gendered experiences as men. Specifically, my study focused on identifying the essential programmatic elements that subsequently create an environment where college males feel safe, comfortable, and inspired to critically explore their gender and in doing so, to reframe their masculinities in more holistic ways.

Other Degrees

B.S., Lees-McRae College, 2001
M.A., Humboldt State University, 2004


David Dennis Putney


“An Explanation of At-risk Students’ Journeys Through a Continuation High School”
B.A., Sonoma State University, 1995
M.A., Sonoma State University
M.S., Dominican University, 2001


Joseph Robert Radding


Current Position

In the same month in which I graduated from the CANDEL Program (June 2010), I was promoted to Administrator of Intersegmental Relations at the California Department of Education. In addition to overseeing the administration of various college preparation programs in California’s public schools, I provide staff support to the elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction in his various interactions with the postsecondary education segments in California.

Research Interests

My current area of research interest continues to be what fascinated me when I began the CANDEL Program in August 2007: How can successful educational reforms (like AVID) be most effectively scaled up and sustained?


“From Invention to Reform: The Evolution of AVID in California’s Public Schools”

This dissertation study examines the evolution of Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) in California’s public schools, from its origins as a classroom invention in 1980, through nearly 30 years of growth and evolution as one of California’s longest-surviving educational reforms. Using statewide descriptive data from secondary sources, archival documents, and the results of field interviews with a purposive sample of 15 individuals who played key roles in the development and expansion of AVID in California, the study provides a detailed description of the historical trends and milestones in the AVID experience in California; identifies the factors that have likely contributed to the growth and survival of AVID in California and the barriers that have likely inhibited the growth of AVID to its potential scale in California’s public schools; and provides state policymakers and California AVID leaders with suggestions for actions that could potentially accelerate the growth of AVID in California.

Other Degrees

B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1980
M.P.P., University of California, Berkeley, 1982

Jennie L. Snyder

“Below the Green Line: Collaboration, Constructive Conflict and the Role of Trust in Teacher Professional Communities”
B.A., University of California, Riverside, 1986
M.A., University of California, Irvine, 1995

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