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.
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. He researches issues of cultural and linguistic diversity and educational equity in teaching, adolescent learning, and teacher education, with a focus on literacy and English language arts. As a high school English teacher in the Chicago area, he received several awards for outstanding teaching of English, with a focus on writing, and drew on his disciplinary roots in Performance Studies and Communications to stage annual performance showcases of original student compositions.
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.
Joanne Bookmyer joined REEd in 2001. She was selected as the Director of Collaborative Projects in 2002, a role which engaged her in various local, state, and national school reform and improvement initiatives, including external evaluator for the federal Sacramento City Unified School District Smaller Learning Community Grant, as Project Manager for a Network for a Healthy California SNAP-Ed initiative, and as the Technical Assistance Team Lead for Sierra Health Foundation’s REACH (Connecting Communities and Youth for a Healthy Future) initiative.
Deanne Castaneda is a project coordinator and intervention coach for the Reading RULES project at the UC Davis Reading and Academic Development Center. She has 28 years of experience in the field of education and has served as a classroom teacher, Language Arts Resource Teacher, English Learner Resource Teacher, and Student Support Teacher for the North Sacramento and Twin Rivers unified school districts. She received her bachelor’s degree in Human Development from the University of California, Davis and her teaching credential from California State University, Sacramento.
Barbara Celli joined the UC Davis School of Education in October 2016. As Executive Director of Development and External Relations, she manages the development and marketing/communications efforts for the School of Education. Most recently, Barbara was the Senior Director of Development and Partnerships at the UC Davis World Food Center. There she connected the interests of individuals, companies and foundations to philanthropic opportunities that advance healthy and sustainable food solutions.
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.
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. He examines 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.
Uyen Do is the Program Manager at the University of California, Davis School of Education. Uyen has earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Psychology, master’s degree in Education, as well as a Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential from the University of California, Davis, and pursuing her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy. She spent five years in the classroom and over 15 years working with administrators, teachers, students, in a variety of educational settings including Expanded Learning Programs.
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.
Second language reading and literacy development; best practices for preparing preservice and inservice teachers to work with English learners; preservice teachers and the role of reflection in their growth as teachers; preservice teachers and pedagogy that furthers their thinking about issues of diversity; high school reform/restructuring.
Ph.D., Education: Language and Literacy – University of California, Davis – 2001
Eva Guralnick joined the UC Davis School of Education in June 2015 as the Director of Marketing and Communications. As the chief marketing officer for the School she manages all branding and outreach efforts.
Sarah Harlan joined the UC Davis School of Education in August 2015 as Associate Director of Annual and Special Funds. With a career focused on higher education, she most recently served as Assistant Director of Alumni and Volunteer Services at the University of Southern Indiana. In that role, she managed operations of the office and developed opportunities for alumni, parents, students, and volunteers to remain connected and involved with the University.
Cassandra Hart is assistant 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 recent work has focused on school choice programs, school accountability policies, early childhood education 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 in the School of Education. 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. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D.
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. She manages the front office and communicates with interested families. She handles all of the initial inquiries and assists with community outreach to advertise the center’s clinical services.
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 systems.
Katherine Lacy earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Development from UC Davis in 2016. She helps coordinate all of our undergraduate research assistants and reading tutors, administers assessments, and assists with writing for formal reports. Previously, she served as the lead research assistant for the RAD Center supervising other undergraduate research assistants involved with multiple projects.
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.
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 tuition subsidies.
I direct the Center for Community and Citizen Science at the UC Davis School of Education. We are building a home to programs and partnerships that revolutionize how – and with whom – science gets done. Learn more and sign up for our mailing list here.
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
EdD, Educational Leadership, University of California Davis
MFA, Painting and Drawing, University of Montana, Missoula
MA, Art History – Aesthetic Theory, University of Montana, Missoula
BA Third World Literature, University of California, San Diego; University of Nairobi — Nairobi, Kenya
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.
Deb Niemeier is a professor with a joint appointment at the School of Education and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. In September 2015, after a positive vote by Senate faculty in the spring, then Chancellor Linda Katehi approved Niemeier¹s joint appointment in the School of Education.
Susan O’Hara joined the School of Education as REEd’s Executive Director in 2013 with a wealth of experience and background in public education, and working closely with teachers, researchers and community leaders. An educator for 20 years, Susan began teaching mathematics and science to middle and high school students in Ireland. In 2000, Susan was appointed assistant professor in teacher education at Sacramento State University and received early promotion to associate professor in 2004. While at Sacramento State University she served as associate chair of teacher education and core faculty for the Independent Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Most recently, she was associate professor and founding executive director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) at Stanford University.
Susan’s research has focused on professional learning for teachers and instructional leaders, with a specific focus on meeting the needs of English learners. She has been engaged in a five-year project to develop, implement, and test a professional learning model to build teacher and instructional leader capacity. Currently she is principal investigator on two federal grants funded by the Institute of Education Sciences and the Office of English Language Acquisition. Susan holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education from UC Davis, an M.A. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. in Mathematics and Physics from the University College Dublin.
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (2017-2022). Investigating the Efficacy of the Academic Language and Literacy Professional Developmental Model.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition (2016- 2021). Building District Capacity to Support Mentors and Teachers in the Academic Language and Literacy Development of Young English Learners. ($2.5 M)
Improving Teacher Quality Grant (2016-2018). Resourcing Integrated Professional Learning Systems. ($3.2 M)
California Department of Corrections. Evaluation of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Career Technical Education Program. ($500,000).
Improving Teacher Quality Grant. Resourcing Integrated Professional Learning Systems ($5.8M).
U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition. Academic Literacy Support for Teachers: A Capacity Building Approach ($2M).
O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R. (2016). Framing teaching for Common Core literacy standards: SOAR teaching frames for literacy. Psychology Research, February 2016, Vol. 6, No. 2, 92-101.
O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R., & Zwiers, J. (2016). Academic Language and Literacy in Every Subject (ALLIES): A capacity building approach to supporting teachers in Grades 3-8. In F. Hiebert & P. Proctor (Eds), Teaching emergent bilingual students: Flexible approaches in an era of new standards
Pritchard, R., O’Hara, S., & Zwiers, J. (2016). Framing the teaching of academic language to English learners: A Delphi study of expert consensus. TESOL Quarterly.
O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R., Pitta, D., and Webb, J. (2015). Implementing new technologies to support social justice pedagogy. In Papa, R., Eadens, D. M., & Eadens, D. M. (Eds). Social justice instruction: Empowerment on the chalkboard. Springer Publishing
O’Hara, S. & Pritchard, R. (2015). Using new technologies to engage and support English learners in mathematics classrooms. In D. Polly (Ed.) Cases on technology and Common Core mathematics standards. IGI Global. Hersey, PA.
O’Hara, S., Zwiers, J., & Pritchard, R. (2014). Cutting to the Common Core: Changing the playing field. The Journal of Communication & Education, 13(7), 28-31.
O’Hara, S., & Pritchard, R. (2013). Learning to integrate new technologies into teaching and learning through a design-based model of professional development. The Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (JTATE), 21(2), Pages 203-223.
O’Hara, S. & Pritchard, R. (2012). Professional degree programs for the development of accomplished teachers: A case for the National Board Certification process. Journal of Educational Research and Practice (JERAP), 2(1), Pages 54–73.
O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R., & Huang-DeVoss, Cammy. (2012). The Teaching Using Technology Studio (TUTS): Innovative professional development to meet the needs of English language learners. TESOL Journal.
O’Hara, S. & Pritchard, R. (2012). “I’m teaching what?!”: Preparing university faculty for online Instruction. Journal of Educational Research and Practice (JERAP). Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 42-53.
Alexis Patterson, 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.
Sherrie Reed serves as Project & Research Director for The Partnership for Research on College & Career Readiness. In this role, Sherrie is managing and directing the research efforts of a 5 million dollar grant awarded by the U.S.
Angela Reynolds joined the UC Davis School of Education in January 2015 as the Associate Director of Development. Most recently, Angela served as Director of Distinguished Giving at the American Cancer Society in Connecticut where she worked with individual donors, foundations, and large corporations. Prior to her development experience, Angela was a first officer pilot for a regional airline on the east coast. She received a BA in Communication Studies from Sacramento State University and holds several FAA pilot certifications.
Office hours: Fall Quarter 2017 — 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.
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 administrative and coordinative duties, as well as working with the marketing and communications team at the School of Education. Previously, she worked for the California Association of Health Facilities, the Foundation for California Community Colleges and the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO.
Elise Spang is a literacy coach and project coordinator for the Reading RULES project at the UC Davis Reading and Academic Development Center. She also serves as a regional literacy specialist and presenter for the Superkids Reading Program and Zaner-Bloser. Previously, she served as a reading specialist and an elementary school teacher in New York, Massachusetts and abroad. She has been trained in Reading RULES, Superkids, Wilson Reading, Wilson Fundations, and the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program.
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.
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.
Early Literacy; English Learners; Bilingualism and Bilingual Education; Educational Television and Multimedia; Language Acquisition; Literacy development; Quantitative methods; Sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics.
Anthropology of consciousness; Bilingual Education; Child Development; Classroom discourse; Classroom research; Community and rural development; Critical discourse analysis; Cultural studies; Education in Developing Countries; Ethnography and Ethnographic research; Feminist theory; Geographical areas of Hawai’i and Solomon Islands; Indigenous epistemology; Language Acquisition; Language development and socialization; Language socialization theory; Linguistic anthropology; Literacy and Language policy; Organizational structure/effectiveness; Pidgin/creole langu
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.
Michael Whistler has worked within open access classrooms for over 15 years, using applied arts and literature as a tool to open up dense texts and ethical issues for students of economically and socially diverse backgrounds. His teaching practice uses improvisation and Spolin games work to teach a variety of subjects in Theatre Arts (including Shakespeare) with tools to open up critical thinking, analysis, close reading, ethics, resiliency, and agency for his students.
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.
Yu Zhang has been postdoctoral researcher in the School of Education since 2016. She previously worked on mathematics education at UC Santa Barbara, where she studied how to improve mathematics scores for low-performing students through cognitive intervention. She is currently working on educational evaluation and assessment and managing multiple research projects.