Brian Riley, a PhD student in school organization and educational
policy, was recently honored by the California Association of the
Deaf for his outstanding service to the California Deaf
As an alumni leader of the Unity for Gallaudet education reform
movement of 2006-2007, Riley met with congressional staff members
and advised them on issues of deaf education policy. In 2006, he
provided information to national television and print journalists
for stories that ran on the NBC Nightly News, in the New York
Times, the DC Examiner, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Riley also served as campus-wide Graduate Student Association
Chair from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, and as head of the
academic graduate student constituency.
Riley wrote an article on education policy for The Endeavor (fall
2008), a magazine published by the American Society for Deaf
Children; provided research information on language policy to
board members of the California Association of the Deaf; and has
served on the board of the Deaf Bilingual Coalition since April
2009, serving on the Public Relations Committee.
With a $15,000 scholarship from the Philanthropic Educational
Organization (PEO), Betsy Gilliland, a fifth year PhD student,
funded her dissertation data collection and presented at three
conferences this year (Symposium on Second Language Writing,
AAAL: American Association of Applied Linguistics, and CATESOL:
California Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of
Other Languages). She also made presentations to four PEO
chapters in the greater Sacramento/Bay Area as well as presenting
at the California PEO State Convention on May 29.
In addition to working on her dissertation, Gilliland teaches in
the Teachers of English in Other Languages certificate program
through UC Davis Extension and worked on a redesign of the
program with School of Education Alumna Susan Catron (EdD 2009).
Gilliland also teaches EDU 292, a seminar on language, literacy,
and learning in the School’s MA for Practicing Teachers program.
“I love this class and am definitely convinced that what I want
to do after I graduate is teach in a program where I can work
with current and pre-service teachers,” said Gilliand.
Sumer Seiki is the graduate student recipient of the 2009-2010
Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity and Community.
Addressing the issue of marginalization head-on, Seiki presented
“Academic Inclusion: Undoing Marginalization,” a week-long art
exhibit and symposium that explored such topics as racism, sexism
and classism in the UC Davis community. Accepting a range of
poetry, film and fine art submissions from campus artists
personally influenced by discrimination, Seiki used the exhibit
to bring the often covert nature of marginalization out into the
“Oftentimes only close friends or family hear these types of
stories and experiences,” she said. “I think if we understand
what is happening on campus, we can work toward change.”
With assistance from her faculty advisor, Karen Watson-Gegeo,
Seiki designed small group discussions during the two-part
symposium to raise awareness of marginalization experiences and
to work toward active change and increased unity. Noting the
ethnic diversity of UC Davis’ student population has greatly
increased over the past decade, Seiki believed the symposium also
offered an opportunity for campus instructors to practice
cross-cultural teaching and communication methods.
Seiki, a sixth year PhD student with a science education
emphasis, earned a bachelor’s degree (’00) and master’s degree
(’05) in plant biology at UC Davis. “I’ve been at UC Davis for so
long,” she said, “I wanted to give back in this way.”
Eric Garber, a science teacher at West Sac Early College Prep and
a student in the School of Education’s Master’s for Practicing
Teachers, has developed a digital guide of free resources and
advice for teachers, students and parents.
The site enables Garber to share experiences and discoveries he
has made using technologies in the classroom. “My goal is to
apply technology purposefully and integrate its tools to enhance
a collaborative learning environment intended to free us from the
traditional singular approach to teaching and learning,” said
Garber. Check out the guide at techrichclass.com.