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 disabilities.
Dr. Tony Albano is an Associate Professor in the School of Education where he teaches courses in testing, assessment, and data science. His research aims broadly to improve teaching and learning via effective educational and psychological measurement, including through improvements in psychometric methods for scaling and modeling assessment results, and through enhanced accessibility in test design and implementation. Dr.
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 well.
Steven Athanases is a Professor in the School of Education at UC Davis.
Principal Investigator, Teachers as Learners Project, James S. McDonnell Foundation, New Teachers Learning Disciplined Improvisation for Meaningful Talk in Diverse Classrooms, 2018-2023.
Director of Research, Center for Shakespeare in Diverse Classrooms, UC Davis, in partnership with Globe Education, Shakespeare’s Globe, London (Patrick Spottisooode, Director). 2018-
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.
Ed.D. Educational Leadership, University of California at Davis, June 14, 2017
Clear Administrative Services Credential, September 2015
Education Specialist Instruction Credential, Level 2, National University, November 2012
M.S. Special Education, National University, January 2007
B.A. Psychology, University of California at Davis, December 2003
B.S. Exercise Physiology, University of California at Davis, December 2003
PhD School of Education, University of California, Davis,
Dissertation: Effective Teaching of Latinx Students in Hope Valley.
Committee: Karen Watson-Gegeo (Chair), Danny Martinez, Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Chris Faltis.
MA Applied Linguistics Department, University of Massachusetts, Boston, 2009
B.S. W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, 1999
2004 Teaching Credential, School of Education, Sonoma State University, 2004
Child Development; Collaborative Learning; Gender and technology; Learning in Informal Settings; Qualitative Methodology; Technology and identity
Before joining Wheelhouse, Ms. Cooper served as an independent consultant and as longtime advisor on pre-K-to-14 education issues for the leader of the California State Senate. In that role, she shaped and shepherded the Pro Tem’s education agenda, provided counsel on education budget matters, and led multi-year campaigns to increase quality pre-kindergarten opportunities for low-income children, reduce the number of high school dropouts, and strengthen high school-post-secondary pathways.
Marcela Cuellar joined the School of Education in July 2014. 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. Cuellar employs quantitative and qualitative methods to explore Latinx students’ experiences at HSIs and emerging HSIs and how they are empowered as a result of their educational experiences during college and beyond.
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.
- Post Graduate Units in Special Education Law – California State University, Sacramento 2000
- California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential – UC Davis 1987
- Bachelor of Arts, English – UC Davis 1982-1986
- Supervisor/Lecturer – UC Davis Multiple Subject Credential Program, Fall 2006 – Present
- Classroom Teacher, Padan Elementary School, Vacaville Unified School District, 1987-1999
Professional Organization Membership
- International Re
Betsey Friedmann is a research fellow at Wheelhouse and the California Education Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in School Organization and Educational Policy from the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on issues related to college access and success, including financial aid and transfer pathways from community colleges.
Quentin Graeber joined the UC Davis School of Education in June 2019 as Associate Director of Development. After graduating from University of the Pacific in 2008, Quentin served in many capacities across the university from Disability Service to Alumni Relations. In his final position as Assistant Director of Annual Giving on the Stockton campus, he cultivated university-wide support from alumni and friends of the university. In addition to his work with higher education fundraising, Quentin has experience in alumni and volunteer management and event planning.
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 equity of student outcomes. Hart’s work has focused on online education in both K-12 schools and community colleges, school choice programs, school accountability policies, and effects on students of exposure to demographically similar teachers.
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 sociocultural theories of learning and varied methodologies (including design-based research, case study, and survey research), Dr. Higgs investigates practices around digital tools as well as improvement of digital tool practices.
- CLAD (2004)
- Certificated Early Literacy Group Teacher, CSU Bernardino (1997)
- Certificated Reading Recovery Teacher, CSU Bernardino (1994)
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.
Akemi Joe earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UC Davis in 2014. She brings with her an extensive knowledge of the campus from her previous work at the School of Education Student Services, Office of the Chancellor and Provost, and Design and Construction Management.
Michal Kurlaender investigates students’ educational pathways, in particular K-12 and postsecondary alignment, and access to and success in higher education. 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 systems.
Anna Lawrence comes to Wheelhouse with over 18 years of experience with nonprofits and government agencies. Prior to coming to UC Davis, Anna was an Assistant Program Director for AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. There, she did outreach and developed service-learning projects in four states and supported leadership development programming for 18-24 year olds. She has worked in event production, foster care, youth mentoring, education, grantmaking, and was an AmeriCorps volunteer, as well. Anna obtained her M.A.
Robin Martin joined the UC Davis School of Education in 2016 as the Director of Educational Research and Evaluation. Having served in both K-12 policy organizations and public school districts, Robin brings over 13 years of practiced experience in education policy, research, assessment, and program implementation and evaluation.
By appointment only
EdD – Drexel University, Sacramento, CA – expected date of completion, 2014
M.S., Agriculture – California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo – 1990
Pupil Personal Service – Fresno Pacific University, Fresno, CA - 1995
Danny C. Martinez is Associate Professor in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program area in the School of Education. His research explores the cultural and linguistic practices of Black and Latinx youth in literacy learning contexts, and teacher learning as it relates to leveraging youths’ rich communicative resources. His research is inspired by his experience as a literacy teacher in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
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 tuition subsidies.
University of California, Davis, CA
Ph.D. Education (Language, Literacy and Culture), Jun 2015
University of Kansas, KS
National Consortium for Teaching about Asia Summer study tour in China, Jun 2010
• NCTA Summer institute for alumni designed to facilitate teaching and learning about East Asia in the K-12 curriculum via participation in a variety of hands-on experiences in Asia.
Dr. Carlas McCauley joined the School of Education as Director of Research and Partnerships/Executive Director of REEd in 2019. McCauley comes to UC Davis from WestEd, where he had served as the Director of the Center on School Turnaround since 2014. In his role at WestEd, McCauley directed a large federally funded center that advises state and local education agencies on promoting equity and improving educational outcomes for students.
I direct the Center for Community and Citizen Science at the UC Davis School of Education. Our mission is to help scientists, communities, and citizens collaborate on science to address environmental problems as a part of civic life. Learn more and sign up for our mailing list here.
Doctorate in Education: Educational Leadership for Social
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
California Single Subject Credential in English with CLAD
University of California, Berkeley (current)
M.A. in Education: Language, Literacy and Culture
University of California, Berkeley
B.A. in Political Science & Chicana and Chicano Studies
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California at Davis
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.
Education is all a matter of building bridges.
—Ralph Ellison, author of Invisible Man
Center for Applied Policy in Education (CAP-Ed)
Christina E. Murdoch serves as Executive Director of the Center for Applied Policy in Education within the UC Davis School of Education. In this role, Christina develops and directs professional learning programs for school district superintendents, principals and teachers including the following:
• Superintendents’ Executive Leadership Forum (SELF)
Ph.D. Combined Program in Education and
University of Michigan (UM), Ann Arbor, MI
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
M.A. Higher and Postsecondary Education, Public
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
B.S. Biobehavioral Health, cum laude;
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Renee Newton joined REEd in 2001, where she directed a statewide health access program administered through the Healthy Start Field Office. She was named director of the Center for Community School Partnerships (CCSP) in 2005 where she led a multidisciplinary team in support of school and community partnerships.
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.
Ph.D., Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin –
Emphasis: Human Development Minor: Youth Studies and Multicultural Education
Ed.M., Youth Development: Prevention Science and Practice
Harvard University, Graduate School of Education
Ed.M., Counseling Processes
Harvard University, Graduate School of Education
Multiple Subject, Elementary Credential
University of San Diego
B.A. and B.S. Political Science and Sociology
University of California at Riverside
- Secondary Teaching Credentials, Social Science and English - Sonoma State University, 1979
- B.A., Sociology – UC Santa Cruz, 1971
- Area 3 History and Cultures Project: 2003-2010
Sherrie Reed serves as Executive Director for California Education Lab. In this role, Sherrie is managing and directing the research efforts of numerous federal and foundation grants and supporting the faculty Principal Investigators. These projects represent unprecedented collaboration among the primary public education segments in the state of California, including formal partnership between the University of California, Davis and the California Department of Education, and collaboration with the California State University Chancellor’s Off
Office hours: Winter and Spring Quarters 2020 — By Appointment Only
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.
Office hours: By appointment. Room 125 SOEB.
Economics of education; Education Policy and Governance; Quantitative methods; School finance
Shaima Shafii joined the School of Education as the Development and External Relations Assistant on January 16, 2018. She is responsible for a wide range of coordinative and administrative duties, as well as working with the marketing and communications team at the School of Education.
Nicole Sparapani, Ph.D. CCC-SLP, is an assistant professor within the School of Education and the MIND Institute. Dr. Sparapani’s background in speech-language pathology, developmental psychology, and education has informed her research agenda, which focuses on the dynamic and transactional interplay between children and their classroom environment. The overarching goal of her research agenda is to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of learners with complex learning needs and autism spectrum disorder (hereafter referred to as autism).
Dr. Lisa Sullivan brings a range of skills and experience to her work in Teacher Education. Lisa worked as a classroom teacher in East Los Angeles and in Northern California before obtaining her doctorate from UC Davis in Learning and Mind Sciences. She has worked extensively with both classroom teachers and higher education faculty to improve teaching and learning. Lisa has conducted over twenty program evaluations for K-12 and university based education initiatives. She has expertise in the area of special education, having worked on a national implementation grant to support general education teachers to implement best practices for students with autism. Lisa has also taught both credential and Masters students at UC Davis, Sacramento State University and Loyola Marymount University. Her dissertation research examined the role of attention in learning and school readiness for preschool children. Her main area of interest is in working with educators to translate research into practice that will improve outcomes for all students.
- Ph.D. in Learning and Mind Sciences, University of California, Davis, 2010
- M.A. in Educational Psychology, University of California, Davis, 2006
- B.A. in Psychology, Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude, University of California, Irvine, 1986
Publications and Working Papers
- Franzone, E., Kucharczyk, S., Sullivan, L., & Szidon, K. (2012). Facilitating the use of evidence based practices in classrooms: The national professional development center model for implementation. In Mundy, P. & Mastergeorge, A. (Eds), Autism for Educators, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Sullivan, L. (2010). Joint attention: Interactions with word learning and school readiness. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, Volume 71(11-A), pp.3902.
- Abedi, J., Kao, J.C., Leon, S., Mastergeorge, A., Sullivan, L., Herman, J., & Pope, R. (2010). Accessibility of segmented reading comprehension passages for students with disabilities. Applied Measurement in Education, 23 (2), 168-186.
- Mundy, P., Sullivan, L., & Mastergeorge, A. (2009). A parallel and distributed-processing model of joint attention, social cognition and autism. Autism Research, 2(1), 2-21.
- Abedi, K., Kao, J., Leon, J., Sullivan, L., Herman, J., Pope, R., Nambiar, V., & Mastergeorge, A. (2008). Exploring factors that affect accessibility of reading comprehension assessments for students with disabilities: A study of segmented text (Report No. 746), 80pp. Los Angeles: National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).
Manuscript Currently Under Review
- Sullivan, L., Mundy, P., & Mastergeorge, A. Joint Attention, Social Behavior and School Readiness in Preschool Children.
Agricultural Education; Agri-food system literacy; Service-learning; Secondary Education; Science Education; Technology in Science; Technology in teaching and learning
Dr. Nancy Tseng is a Lecturer/Supervisor of Teacher Education in the School of Education. She began her career in education as a public elementary school teacher. Her research interests focus on the development of productive student-teacher relationships in elementary classrooms, identifying instructional practices that support mathematics learning and teaching, and pre-and in-service teacher education. Dr. Tseng received a BA in psychology, elementary teaching credential, and MA from the University of California, Davis. She has a Ph.D.
- BS—University of California, Davis
- MA—San Francisco State University
- PhD—University of California, Davis
- Director, Math for America Berkeley, 2012
- Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley, 2012
- University Supervisor, California State University, East Bay, 2011-2012
- Mathematics Teacher, Elk Grove Unified School District, 2002-2008
Professional Organization Membership
- America Educational Research Associatio
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.
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.
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.