Specializing in educational and psychological assessments, Jamal
Abedi’s research focuses on testing for English language learners
and issues concerning the technical characteristics and
interpretations of these assessments. Abedi is the author of many
publications in the assessment of and accommodations for
English-language learners. He is on the advisory committees for
several major assessment organizations and advises a number
of states on testing for English learners and children with
After teaching middle school math for ten years, I decided to
pursue a PhD to get a fresh perspective on the issues I
observed every day in my classroom and thought that maybe I
could help develop remedies that would help other teachers, as
Heidi Ballard is the Founder and Faculty Director of the Center
for Community and Citizen Science. You can find more information
about her past and current projects, and sign up for occasional
updates at the Center’s website.
Scott Carrell is a Professor of Economics and the Faculty
Athletics Representative at the University of California, Davis.
He received his BA from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1995, an
M.A. in Economics and an M.S. in Management from the University
of Florida in 2002, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University
of Florida in 2003. He previously taught at Dartmouth College and
the U.S. Air Force Academy and served as the Senior Economist for
Public Finance and Labor Economics on the staff of the
President’s Council of Economic Advisers during the summer of
Marcela Cuellar joined the School of Education in July 2014 as an
assistant professor in higher education & leadership. She
received her doctorate in Higher Education and Organizational
Change at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information
Studies. Her research examines access and equity in higher
education, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and emerging
HSIs, and Latinx student success. More specifically, Dr.
Cati V. de los Ríos is an Assistant Professor in the School of
Education. She has taught in California and Massachusetts
public schools. Cati’s research explores the intersections
of adolescent bi/multilingual
literacies, translanguaging, ethnic studies, and
teacher education. Her scholarship draws from
ethnographic and participatory methodologies and is informed by
sociocultural, critical, and translingual orientations
of language and literacy.
Darnel Degand joined the School of Education as an assistant
professor in July 2017. He studies the various ways media
and society influence the development of social success
skills by exploring the social processes that exist within media
production environments and media consumption experiences. His
research also involves the design and development of educational
media products and experiences.
I research the relationship between students’ everyday uses of
language (English and Spanish) and their engagement in
school-based uses of language and literacy. Some schools identify
bilingual adolescents as “limited” in their English proficiency
even though they use sophisticated literacy repertoires outside
of school; other learners are deemed ”fluent” in English but
still struggle with the language and literacy demands
of their academic coursework.
My work focuses on how communities and regions produce and
disrupt disparities in youth well-being, with emphasis on
disparities associated with race/ethnicity, immigration,
socio-economic status and geographic location. My interest in
youth well-being situates my activity at the intersection of
educational reform, public health, youth development and
community development. I ground my work conceptually at the nexus
of theories of development in social ecological contexts,
critical human geographers’ analyses of space and place as
socially produced, and critical race theory.
Cassandra Hart is an associate professor of education policy. She
evaluates the effects of school, state and national education
programs, policies, and practices on overall student achievement,
and on the equality of student outcomes. Hart’s work has focused
on school choice programs, school accountability
policies, and effects on students of exposure to
demographically similar teachers. She is also interested in the
effects of virtual schooling on student outcomes, both in K-12
and post-secondary settings.
Jennifer Higgs is an Assistant Professor of Learning and Mind
Sciences and Language, Literacy, and Culture. Her research
focuses on digital tool use that supports learning and teaching,
adolescents’ digital literacies, and teacher education in the
language arts. Using mixed methods and sociocultural theories of
learning, Dr. Higgs investigates practices around digital tools
as well as improvement of digital tool practices. What
fundamentally drives her work is a desire to learn how the
possibilities afforded by new cultural tools can support
robust and socially just learning.
Margarita Jimenez-Silva is an associate professor and director of
teacher education at the School of Education in University of
California, Davis. Her research focuses on preparing and
supporting teachers to work with culturally and linguistically
diverse learners, especially in addressing emergent bilinguals’
linguistic and academic content development. More specifically,
her research strands include teacher education pedagogy and
curriculum, educational policy, and family/community engagement.
Michal Kurlaender investigates students’ educational pathways, in
particular K-12 and postsecondary alignment, and access to and
success in postsecondary schooling. She has expertise on
alternative pathways to college and college readiness at both
community colleges and four-year colleges and universities. In
addition to working with national data, Kurlaender works closely
with administrative data from all three of California’s public
higher education sectors–the University of California, the
California State University and the California Community College
As Professor Emeritus and Founding Dean, Harold Levine has had a
long commitment to building a School of Education that makes a
difference—for educators, policymakers, students and everyone
else who has a stake in California’s schools.
Faculty ProfileEMPHASIS AREA: LLC. Adolescent Language and Literacy; English Education; Linguistic Anthropology of Education; Sociocultural Approaches to Learning; Discourse Analysis; Black and Latina/o Youth Interactions; Ethnography
Francisco (Paco) Martorell joined the School as an assistant
professor in July 2014. Martorell completed his PhD in economics
at UC Berkeley. Prior to joining the School, he was an Economist
at the RAND Corporation and was a professor at the Pardee RAND
Graduate School since 2006. He has broad research interests in
both higher education and K-12 policy. Current projects cover
areas including developmental education in colleges, the effects
of grade retention, the returns to for-profit colleges, the
impacts of school facility investments, and community college
There are seven million exceptional children with special needs
in our American school system, such as children with autism
spectrum development. They have the right to appropriate and
comparable educational opportunities. Truly meeting the needs
of these children requires a commitment to integrating advances
in educational science, neuroscience, and social policy.
Alexis Patterson Williams, Ph.D., joined the School of Education
in July 2015 as an Assistant Professor in science education. She
is currently a CAMPOS Faculty
Scholar and is excited to work with her cohort to develop a
research center that focuses on increasing the participation of
women of color in STEM related fields.
Office hours: Winter and Spring Quarters 2020 — By Appointment
Gloria M. Rodriguez’s current research explores notions
of educational investment that reflect efforts to build
upon community strengths in order to address community
needs within and beyond educational settings. Dr. Rodriguez
also engages in research that focuses on the political
economic conditions and educational trajectories of
Chicana/o-Latina/o communities, other communities of color,
and low-income populations in the U.S.
Nicole Sparapani is an assistant professor in the School of
Education and faculty member at the UC Davis MIND Institute. Her
research interests center around the development and evaluation
of effective educational practices for students with Autism
Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Dr. Sparapani practiced as a certified
speech-language pathologist on an interdisciplinary team serving
preschool children with ASD for several years before pursuing her
Ph.D. in Communication Science and Disorders at Florida State
University and postdoctoral training at Arizona State University.
Early Literacy; English Learners; Bilingualism and Bilingual
Education; Educational Television and Multimedia; Language
Acquisition; Literacy development; Quantitative methods;
Sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics.
Megan Welsh joined the School in July 2014 as an assistant
professor in educational assessment and measurement. Since 2008,
she was an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut.
Her primary areas of research include test validity analysis, the
use of assessment as an educational reform lever, grading, and
evaluation of educational programs.
Tobin White studies the use of technology in teaching and
learning mathematics. He has a particular interest in using
mobile computing to support novel approaches to engaging learners
with STEM content and practices. Using a design-based research
approach, he develops collaborative problem-solving tools and
activities in order to investigate intersections between
conceptual and social dimensions of learning. A former high
school mathematics teacher himself, he has also worked for more
than a decade in teacher preparation.
With over fifteen years of professional experience, Winn has
worked and consulted with foundations, cities, and non-profits
including Casey Family Programs, Annie E. Casey, W.K. Kellogg
Foundation, City of Newark (NJ), City of Madison (WI), St. HOPE,
MLK Community Resources Collaborative, and Race to Equity.
His expertise includes youth programs/education, civic and
community engagement, strategic partnerships, race and equity,
and community based participatory research.
Maisha T. Winn’s research spans a wide variety of understudied
settings including her earlier work on the literate practices
extant in bookstores and community organizations in the African
American community to her most recent work in settings where
adolescent girls are incarcerated.