September 2022 Newsletter

Welcoming New Faculty

The School of Education is pleased to welcome two new assistant professors to our faculty. Both were hired in partnership with the Department of Chicana/o Studies in the College of Letters and Science as part of a nationwide search for scholars conducting community-engaged research with a Latinx focus.

Portrait of Yianella Blanco Dr. Yianella Blanco’s research interests include the teaching and learning of Latine/x histories and experiences, particularly those of Central America(ns) and how those intersect with American empire. She draws from community-based and participatory action research methods. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Prof. Blanco taught special education and social studies in New York City high schools, with a goal of introducing more Latinx representation.

Read more about Yianella Blanco.

Portrait of Alicia Rusoja Dr. Alicia Rusoja studies the literacy, teaching and learning practices of Latinx immigrants organizing for their own and others’ human rights. Among other research projects, she is in the second year of a five-year study on the impact of COVID-19 on the educational, literacy and organizing practices of Latinx immigrants in South Philadelphia. She has been named a CAMPSSAH Faculty Scholar.

Read more about Alicia Rusoja.

Marsha Gurney-Speck Makes Gift for Teacher Education

Portrait of Marsha Gurney-SpeckAs part of her vision for K-12 teacher education and leadership, Marsha Gurney-Speck has created the Teacher Education Fund: Fostering Teaching & Learning with Equity, Inclusion & Justice. This multiyear fund will enable the School of Education faculty and staff to review our K-12 teacher education programming to improve modes of curriculum, instruction, and assessment and development.  

“If we help create excellent teachers,” Gurney-Speck said, “they will expand students’ experiences and successes, which will make better communities, nations and worlds.” 

Read more about Gurney-Speck and her fund, and learn how you can contribute.


Torry Winn Receives Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chancellor’s Fellowship

Portrait of Torry WinnThe Office of the Chancellor and the Academic Senate Committee on Affirmative Action & Diversity have named Prof. Torry Winn a 2022 Chancellor’s Fellow for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This fellowship recognizes exceptional contributions in supporting, tutoring, mentoring and advising underrepresented students and/or students from underserved communities, and comes with $5,000 in one-time academic enrichment funding. 

Heather Rose to Serve on GSM Board of Fellows

Portrait of Heather RoseProf. Heather Rose is one of four UC Davis senate faculty members chosen to serve on the newly created Graduate School of Management Board of Fellows. The Board is  a boundary-spanning group that promotes awareness of faculty research in the broader community of scholars. The fellows will facilitate innovative research collaborations by connecting senate faculty members whose research has strong links and complements with management studies. 

Read about the new Board of Fellows.

Nicole Sparapani Study on Social-Sexual Education Program

Nicole SparapaniA pilot study by Prof. Nicole Sparapani found that a social-sexual education program called Relationships Decoded can help people with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities improve their knowledge and preparation for healthy romantic relationships. This information is also key in preventing sexual abuse. Prof. Sparapani and her co-author detailed these findings in an article published in the journal Sexuality and Disability.


Keith Ellis Named to UC Board of Regents

Keith EllisThe UC Board of Regents announced the appointment of Keith Ellis (EdD ’22) as the first-ever UC Merced alumni regent. Recognized for his advocacy for LGBTQ+ students and students who are visually impaired, Ellis will serve in this position for two years as a voting member of the board. “We are confident that Keith’s extensive experience advocating for UC Merced students and alumni will guide his decision-making and help pave the way for different opportunities that exist for all UC alumni and students,” Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz said. 

Read more about Keith Ellis here.

Raquel Donoso Publishes Children’s Book

Raquel DonosoInspired by her own experience going with her father to the picket line for the first time, Raquel Donoso (EdD ’19) has published Viva’s Voice, “a powerful story about standing up for what you believe in,” that introduces young readers to social justice through the story of Viva and her Papi. Five-year-old Viva learns there is a need for girls with powerful voices everywhere when she helps Papi raise his voice on the picket line. 

Learn more about Viva’s Voice and the October 2 book launch.


Dean Lauren Lindstrom Delivers Keynote Address to Johannesburg Audience 

Dean Lauren Lindstrom was the keynote speaker on Sep. 10 at the 2022 Annual Hybrid Colloquium hosted by the newly established Centre for Neurodiversity, University of Johannesburg. The theme of this year’s conference was “The Neurodiversity Hub: A Multifaceted Community Approach for South Africa,” and Dean Lindstrom spoke on “Our Collective Journey.” The center launched the day before, and is a collaboration of the university, the South African Department of Higher Education and Training, and the European Union.  

Center for Community and Citizen Science Collabinars

Christian Schwarz in a black turtleneck sitting in a patch of mushroomsThe Center for Community and Citizen Science collabinar series brings speakers from across the globe to discuss their most exciting opportunities and challenges in community and citizen science. The next collabinar will be with fungi expert Christian Schwarz on Tuesday, October 4 from 4-5 pm. 

Get details about this and other collabinars.

Supervisors of Teacher Education Annual Conference Recorded Webinar Available

Supervisors of Teacher Education Network logoResources and recordings from the annual Supervisors of Teacher Education conference are online and available now. This fully virtual conference focused on “Building a Community of Supervisors for Equity and Justice,” and each of the recorded sessions is available on YouTube. You can also download a detailed program with links to audio-only files and resources.

Teacher Education Kick-Off Event Photos

A group of teaching credential students poses with an egghead on the UC Davis campusOn August 1, we welcomed a new cohort of teacher education students to campus. Participants were oriented to the program, met faculty members and conducted a scavenger hunt to find campus landmarks. 

View the photo gallery.

Show Off with School of Education Gear

School of Education branded merchandise such as hat and t-shirtLooking for a way to show off your School of Education pride? You’ll find shirts of all styles, as well as mugs, hats and more with the School of Education logo at the online UC Davis Store. Proceeds from all store sales benefit UC Davis Athletics.


Prof. Nancy Erbstein co-authored the article, “Assessing a pilot co-operative-based workshop-subsidy model toward improving small-scale chicken production in peri-urban Nepal” in Translational Animal Science.

Prof. Kevin Gee authored the policy brief “Household Food Insecurity Associated with Decline in Attentional Focus of Young Children with Disabilities,” published by the Center for Poverty and Inequality Research.

Dean Lauren Lindstrom co-authored “Paths 2 the Future and the Development of Perceived Peer Support: A Mixed Methods Study,” published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies.

PhD student Ciara Thomas Murphy and Prof. Lee Martin co-authored the conference paper “Tinkering in Parallel: Pathways for Professional Learning in Education,” presented at the International Conference of Learning Sciences.

Sherrie Reed, postdoctoral fellow Elizabeth Friedmann, Prof. Michal Kurlaender and Prof. Paco Martorell co-authored the article “Disparate Impacts of COVID-19 Disruptions for California College Students,” published in the Journal of Student Financial Aid.

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