September 30, 2008
For immediate release
Eight outstanding graduate students at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education have been named Dean’s Council Scholars for 2008-09. The School’s Dean’s Council, whose members provide leadership, counsel, and financial support, recognizes that many potential students, confronted with the rising cost of graduate education, are finding it impossible to follow their dreams of becoming teachers, psychologists, special educators, or educational researchers. To help these students, the Dean’s Council members pledge money to provide fellowships that enable students to dedicate themselves to full-time study and help the Gevirtz School continue to attract the best graduate students.
“Attracting and retaining the best and brightest graduate students to be the next generation of teachers, researchers, school leaders, and psychologists becomes more difficult every year. Without the special support from the Dean’s Council we would not be competitive in offering the very special Gevirtz School experience to deserving students,” says Dean Jane Close Conoley. “These young people represent our best hope for the future of public education and community service throughout California and the nation.”
The 2008-09 GGSE Dean’s Council Scholars, each receiving a $2,500 fellowship, are Katie Eklund, Marlyn Garcia, Tatiana Karas, Jesse Padilla, Kory Rapanut, Tyler Renshaw, Joanna Thomas, and Rose Wong.
Katie Eklund is a doctoral student in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, with an emphasis on School Psychology. Katie received a BA and BSW in Psychology and Social Work from Valparaiso University and received her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Katie is originally from Denver, Colorado and worked as a school social worker, school administrator, and high school cross country and track coach for seven years prior to starting her advanced degree. Her research and clinical interests focus on early identification and intervention for at-risk children and adolescents, school safety, and Response to Intervention models. Katie is currently working on a research project with Los Angeles Unified School District to develop a behavioral and emotional screener for children and youth, as well as research at UCSB examining the relations among well-being and psychological problems using positive psychology and traditional psychological assessments.
Marlyn Garcia is a doctoral student in the Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education emphasis. A first generation college student whose parents live in Mexico, Marlyn first attended community college and then earned her BA from San Diego State University where she was a McNair Scholar and author on five conference presentations. Her McNair research is titled “Acculturation, Acculturative Stress, and Academic Self-Esteem Among Latino/a College Students.” Her research goals are to study the transition of immigrant community college students to a four-year university and the ESL needs of these students.
Tatiana Karas is a MST credential candidate. Her undergraduate degree is from George Washington University, where she volunteered at inner city schools with an Americorps program called Jumpstart and worked at the Children’s National Medical Center as an advocate for low-income families in need of shelter, food, work, and education. Her junior year she studied abroad in South Africa, volunteering at an orphanage in the Khayelitsha township and helping with the mobile medical clinic which drove into impoverished townships to provide care to patients. Tatiana hopes to work with elementary school children from low-income families so that I could make a difference in their lives. Currently, she works at Harding Elementary School in the A-OK program; I work with a lot of children who come from broken families and low-income households.
Jesse Padilla is a SST (Science) credential candidate. Jesse overcame both dyslexia and having to pay his own way through college with loans and financial aid, double majoring in Exercise Biology and Psychology at UC Davis. He also earned two varsity letters in wrestling, gained a partial scholarship his senior year, and placed fifth at the PAC-10 Championships. After graduation he took a job working as a Paraeducator for the Davis Joint Unified School District in the special education department of a local middle school. He enjoyed working as an aid for children across the Autism spectrum, as well as those with learning disabilities, Tourette’s syndrome, and emotional disorders. The experience convinced him to become a secondary school teacher.
Kory Rapanut is an ESC credential candidate. Born in Santa Barbara, Kory attended UC Santa Cruz and earned a BA in Sociology. While attending UCSC, he was involved in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Internship Program, Residential Life Staff, and a number of other student organizations aimed at campus wide program implementation promoting community and diversity. Upon returning to Santa Barbara in 2004, he began working as an Instructional Aide for Special Education in both elementary and high schools. In addition, he has been an assistant coach for Santa Barbara High School’s track and field team. Having a visual impairment himself, he knows what it means to receive amazing support from both family and teachers, which is why he is pursuing an Education Specialist Credential.
Tyler Renshaw is a second year doctoral student in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, with an emphasis on School Psychology. Born and raised in the Bay Area, he came to UCSB after completing his undergraduate work at Brigham Young University. Tyler was attracted to his current program because of the impressive scholarly record of the faculty, as well as the broad, multidisciplinary, combined nature of the training offered. He currently works with Dr. Shane Jimerson, exploring the status of school psychology around the world and evaluating the effects of systems-level interventions for promoting positive peer relationships among students. Tyler has research interests in prevention, systems-change, motivating primary caregivers, and multidisciplinary interventions.
Joanna Thomas is a SST (English) credential candidate. She graduated from UCSB in 2007 with a B.A. in Psychology. During her undergraduate career she served in many student-led campus organizations, the most prominent being the Black Student Union. She was particularly involved with the Outreach Program that brought students from low-performing high schools in the greater Los Angeles and San Bernardino to UCSB to learn about the value of higher education and how to get into colleges. She worked as part of the Gevirtz School’s Student Affairs Office 2007-2008. A first generation college student, born and raised in Los Angeles, she hopes to return to Southern California to start her teaching career.
Rose Wong is a second year doctoral student in the Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education emphasis. She was born in southern China, but grew up in New York City. Rose graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor’s degree in English, and earned a Master’s degree in International Education and Development from New York University. Her interests are international development in the realm of compulsory education, specific to areas such as China and Southeast Asia. Rose’s aspirations include going overseas to develop educational programs promoting literacy. She also plans to continue her research and teaching in higher education.
[The 2008-09 Dean’s Council Scholars are available for interviews;
to arrange an interview, contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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photo caption: Six of the 2008-09 Dean's Council Scholars pose with the Dean's Council. From l-r: Dean's Council Scholar Kory Rapanut, Gevirtz School Dean Jane Close Conoley, Department of Education Chair Michael Gerber, Dean's Council Scholar Jesse Padilla, Dean's Council Member Tina McEnroe, Dean's Council Member Carol Ackerman, Dean's Council Member Ellen Bialis, Dean's Council Member Marilyn Gevirtz, Dean's Council Scholar Joanna Thomas, Dean's Council Member Marshall Ackerman, Dean's Council Scholar Katie Eklund, Director of Community Relations Suzanne Oliver, Director of Development Wes Gibson, Dean's Council Member Steve Glikbarg, Dean's Council Scholar Tyler Renshaw, Dean's Council Chair Peggy Lamb, Dean's Council Scholar Tatiana Karas. (Photo by Nell Campbell)