Current Students

PhD Candidates

Almoudi, Sarah

Sarah Almoudi is a doctoral student whose interest and research include: Applied linguistics, Language Learning, Community Learning, and Technology Integration.  Sarah may be reached at:

Aminger, Walter

Walter Aminger is a first year doctoral student with an emphasis in Science Education working with Dr. Julie Bianchini. He received his B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of West Florida with a minor in Spanish in 2005 and his M.S.T. in Biology from the University of West Florida in 2009. After his graduate work, he spent almost five years teaching high school sciences (Biology and Chemistry) in Arizona. During this time, he successfully developed and implemented the new science curriculum and helped students master the state standard test (AIMS). Though his research interests are relatively broad, he is interested in science education, ELL students, technology, hands-on activities, professional development, curriculum development, and persistence/retention. He welcomes your emails at:

Ashlock, Miles

Educational leadership and organizations, Higher Education, Student Affairs, Leadership Development, Multicultural Education, Quantitative Methods.  Miles Ashlock's doctoral research focuses on international student leadership development (in higher education settings). Specifically, he is interested in how international students--especially those from China--conceptualize 'leaders' and 'leadership' prior to arriving in the United States and how they reconcile cultural differences in approaches to leadership. The primary foundation of his research is the work of James Kouzes and Barry Posner who have contributed to the area of transformational leadership with more than 25 years of scholarly research.  You may contact Miles at:

Baker, Gabe

Gabe Baker is a PhD student in Education with a focus on Technology. His advisor is Dorothy Chun. He is also working towards the graduate certificate in UCSB's Technology Management Program. Before coming to UCSB, he was a humanities teacher at the Pacific Hills School in Los Angeles.  Baker's research interests are on virtual worlds for education, game-based learning, and narrative-centered learning environments. He recently launched a startup that is developing a virtual world for teachers to use with their students. Outside of higher-ed, He runs an after school program for Latin learning at the Crane school, tutors students online, and over the summer is an academic director at the Great Books Summer Program. In addition Gabe is developing the content for a few story-based digital learning games, one for Latin learning and one for HTML learning. Gabe Baker can be contacted at: or review his professional materials at:

Baldwin, Erika

Erika E. Baldwin is a Ph.D. candidate with emphases in Research Methodology and Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences under the direction of Drs. Karen Nylund-Gibson and John Yun. She received her B.A. in Mathematics and M.Ed. in Secondary Education with an emphasis and credential in mathematics at Hawai`i Pacific University, as well as an M.A. in Research Methodology at UCSB. Prior to attending UCSB, she taught two years of middle and high school mathematics. She is currently employed at the UC Educational Evaluation Center as the lead graduate student evaluator for the California Academic Partnership Program Algebra Formative Assessment (CAPP-AFA) Project. Erika is also an institutional research analyst for UCSB’s Office of Budget & Planning. Her research interests include quantitative methods (e.g., latent class analysis, latent transition analysis), secondary mathematics achievement, and women in STEM fields. Erika’s dissertation is titled, “A Monte Carlo Simulation Study Examining Statistical Power in Latent Transition Analyses.” She can be contacted at:

Bigham, Jaycee

Jaycee Bigham is a doctoral student with emphases in cultural perspectives and comparative education and global and international studies. She received her B.A. in anthropology and Spanish with a certificate in Latin American and Caribbean studies from Indiana University in 2011. Her research interests include ethnic and socioeconomic inequities throughout the Americas, the influence of social status on educational experiences, and ethnic and linguistic minority immigrant communities. Her doctoral work focuses on the experiences of Andean immigrant families with the public education system of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She can be reached at

Bucio, Mario

Mario Bucio is a doctoral student with an emphasis in Special Education, Disabilities, and Risk Studies. His advisor is Dr. Mian Wang. Mario received his B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Applied Psychology and his M.A. in Education from University of California, Santa Barbara. Currently, Mario’s interests include translational behavioral research for children with autism who come from bi-lingual and bi-cultural families, teaching behavioral techniques to Latino families with children with special needs, and coordinating home-school programs. For his Master’s thesis, Mario taught Latino children with ASD how to have social-conversations in their native language of Spanish. For his dissertation, Mario would like to pursue a similar line of research where he teaches Latino parents how to support their children’s conversation development. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mario at

Carpenter, Stacey

Stacey Carpenter is a PhD candidate in Education specializing in science education, working with Dr. Danielle Harlow and Dr. Julie Bianchini.  Stacey has BS from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH) and an MA in Education from UCSB.  After her undergraduate work, she taught high school physics and chemistry at UH’s University Laboratory School where she also collaborated on a physics curriculum development project.  Her current research focuses on how experiences such as internships in K-12 classrooms and participation in outreach programs prepare undergraduates for science teaching.  She is a graduate student researcher for the CalTeach Physical Sciences & Engineering program and has contributed to research projects involving environmental science education.  She helped develop curriculum and led classroom activities for the SciTrek outreach program.  She has also been a TA for courses in the teacher education program and the undergraduate CalTeach program.  You may contact Stacey at:

Clairmont, Anthony

Anthony Clairmont is a doctoral student with an emphasis in Applied Linguistics working with Dr. Jin Sook Lee. He received his BA in philosophy from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2011. A year later, he earned an MA in French from Middlebury College. While living abroad during much of this period, he conducted anthropological research with the School for International Training in Rabat, Morocco and studied philosophy at La Sorbonne in Paris, France. He returned to the US to teach French at an all-male prep school in Cleveland, Ohio for two years. His research interests include bilingual education, computer-assisted language learning, teacher professionalism, systemic educational inequalities, and philosophical issues in the social sciences. You may contact Anthony at:  or review his professional materials at:

Covarrubias, Henry

Henry Covarrubias is a doctoral student with an emphasis in Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education.  His faculty advisor is Dr. Richard Durán.  He received his B.A. in History and Chicana/o Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and his M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration/Student Affairs from the University of Southern California.  He has worked as a higher education administrator for the last sixteen years at several institutions such as UCSB, UC Davis, UCLA, CSU-Bakersfield, Alamo Colleges, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  His research focuses on the academic socialization experiences of Latina/o STEM graduate students.  Specifically, he seeks to identify the ways Latina/o STEM graduate students’ interactions and relationships with faculty and peers facilitate their socialization into the academic and social systems of their disciplines and their professions.  He may be reached at:

Crocco, Kyle

Kyle Crocco is a doctoral student in the Department of Education with an emphasis in Teaching and Learning, a research specialization in Language, Literacy, and Composition, and an interdisciplinary emphasis in Writing Studies. He received a B.A. in History from Penn State University in 1989. Later he turned to studying language and earned a B.A. in French in 1997 and a M.A. in French and Foreign Language Pedagogy at the University of Delaware in 2005. After teaching English composition for six years in California and abroad, he developed interests in second language writing development, visual rhetoric in communication, teaching business and technical writing, and branding and academic identity in higher education. He is currently working on a dissertation examining how visual rhetoric is used in creating and maintaining an academic identity for a university. He can be contacted at

Dai, Yun (Daisy)

Yun Dai (Daisy) is a doctoral student with an emphasis in learning, culture and technology, working under Dr.Judith Green. She received her BS in film production with a minor in economics and master in media and communication from Peking University, China. Her research interests include: knowledge construction, learning across disciplines and nations, learning technology, ethnographic research, video analysis, discourse studies and interdisciplinary research. Currently she is working on two interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research projects, a global engineering education project and a further thinking project, exploring how new configurations of learning support or constraint students’ learning and how interdisciplinary dialogue makes visible what is invisible in scope of single discipline. She welcomes your email at:

D'Amour, Angela

Angelea D'Amour is a second year PhD student in Education with research interests in higher education administration, educational leadership and college women's achievement aspirations. She has worked in student affairs administration within higher education for the past 13 years. You may contact Angela at:

Dang, Myley

Myley Dang is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Education, studying Mathematics Education with an emphasis in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (QMSS). Her advisor is Dr. Brenner. She received her B.S. in mathematics and a minor in statistics at UCLA. Her research interests include mathematics attitudes, mathematics self-efficacy, STEM outcomes, English Language Learners, quantitative research methodology, latent class analysis, longitudinal data, and program evaluation. Contact Myley at:

De Piero, Zack

Prior to moving to California to pursue his Ph.D in Education with an emphasis in Language, Literacy, and Composition Studies, Zack De Piero got his "teaching chops" as a full-time English teacher in the Philadelphia School District.  He also taught as an adjunct instructor at Temple University, where he also earned his Master’s in Education, a credential in Secondary English, and a TESOL endorsement.  At UCSB, he has worked as a TA in the Communication Department (COMM 88, 89, and 123) and, beginning in 2015, he will join the Writing Program to teach Writing 2.  His research interests include postsecondary academic writing (first-year composition, specifically), WAC/WID, and assessment.  The three UCSB professors that most closely guide his thinking are Drs. Linda Adler-Kassner, Chuck Bazerman, and Karen Lunsford.  Zack can be reached at

Dippre, Ryan

Ryan Dippre is a PhD student whose instrest are Secondary and Postsecondary writing instruction and writing development.  You may contact Ryan at:

Dodds, Robin

Robin Dodds is a Doctoral Candidate with an emphasis in Special Education, Disabilities, and Risk Studies. Her advisor is Dr. George Singer. She received her B.A. in Creative Writing from Binghamton University, her M.F.A. in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College. After college, she worked as a Special Education teacher with toddlers and preschoolers in New York and Los Angeles. Robin hold an Early Childhood Special Education Teaching Credential and is also the parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum. Her research interests include: Families and Disability, Peer Support, Early Childhood Education, Inclusion, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students with Special needs.  You may contact Robin at:

Fematt, Veronica

Veronica Fematt is a doctoral student with an emphasis in Educational Leadership and Organizations (ELO) under Dr. Michael Gerber. Her focus is on the community college transfer pathway as well as the institutional policies, practices and program interventions that may hinder or promote successful student outcomes. Two of her ongoing research projects include the Transfer Student Transition Survey (TSTS) Study and the Latino Male Academic Narrative Study (LMANS). Veronica utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methods. She is the Co-Founder and a Graduate Student Member of the Education Department’s Higher Education Research Group (HERG) and is the Founder and Steering Committee Chair of the Higher Education Action and Research Consortium (HEARC). She received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and her M.A. with an ELO emphasis from the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Veronica can be reached at:

Ford, Katerina

Katerina Ford is a second year doctoral student in the Education program with an emphasis in Special Education, Disability, and Risk Studies, advised by Dr. Mian Wang.  She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Applied Psychology from UC Santa Barbara in 2010.  After her undergraduate work, she completed the Global Urban Trek internship with InterVarsity in Lima, Peru.  Upon returning to Santa Barbara, she worked as literacy tutor with AmeriCorps for one year and continued to work as a clinician and parent educator with Koegel Autism Consultants.  Her research interests include: remote interventions and trainings through programs like Skype, social conversation skills, supervision of behavioral interventions for ASD, and introducing Pivotal Response Treatment in countries that lack services for individuals with autism.  Please feel free to contact her at:

Galicia, Mario

Mario is a doctoral candidate in the department of Education. After transferring from Riverside Community College in the fall of 2006, Mario received a dual B.A. in Chicana/o Studies and Sociology from UC- Santa Barbara in 2008. Mario received his MA in Education from UC- Santa Barbara in the winter of 2013. His dissertation research is a longitudinal research study that focuses on youth perspectives while participants in the gang and violence intervention program. His research not only highlights issues associated with the school-to–prison pipeline, but he also offers alternative methods for school discipline and classroom pedagogy for marginalized youth. Mario has presented his research at various academic conferences over the last 3 years and also published an article in 2013 (Smoking Guns or Smoke & Mirrors: Schools and the Policing of Latino Boys) based on his research work. While a graduate student at UCSB Mario has also been employed as a teaching assistant in the Sociology, Black Studies and Chicana/o Studies departments. Additionally, Mario has also worked for various student affairs departments while at UCSB; financial aid, EOP, admissions, and most recently Graduate Division as their outreach and diversity peer from 02/ 2010- 09/ 2013. Mario served as a GSAE representative (2011- 12) and then President for UC- Santa Barbara’s Graduate Student Association (2012- 13). For more information on Mario Galicia please visit his website at:  To contact Mario email:

Grossman, Hannah

Hannah Grossman is a doctoral student with a departmental emphasis in Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education and an interdisciplinary emphasis in Cognitive Science. After receiving a B.A. in Psychology from UC Davis in 2000, she joined the Peace Corps where she worked as a forester in West Africa for two years. In 2004, she received her M.A. in Education from Claremont Graduate University. She spent 6 years teaching life science at the high school and middle school levels. As her dissertation project she is investigating ways of applying cognitive science research to the creation of educational videos to improve learning for rural, low-literacy adults in West Africa. Her interests include: culture and cognition, working memory, science education, experiential learning, informal education, exploratory data analysis in large data sets, and adult education.  You may contact Hannah at:

Harvey, Victoria

Victoria Harvey is a student in the department of Education, working on a Ph.D. in the area of Teacher Education. After earning a B.A. in English, an M.A. in American Studies, and a teaching credential, Tory taught middle and high school English and history for ten years. Though she loved working with energetic middle schoolers, she discovered an interest in teacher education through her service as a cooperating teacher for Pepperdine University. Tory currently works with teacher candidaHates in UCSB’s TEP and her research centers on how preservice teachers formulate the problems of teaching. She hopes to continue working in teacher education once she completes her degree.

Hallowell, David

David Hallowell currently fills his days with doctoral studies in education, with an emphasis in child and adolescent development. He keeps his perspective fresh with an interdisciplinary emphasis in cognitive science. David has pursued his interest in cognitional theory as an undergraduate in psychology and social behavior at the University of California, Irvine; as a U.S. Fulbright Fellow (2005/6) in Vienna, Austria; for his M.A. in philosophy at Boston College; and now for the PhD in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. He is currently doing innovative research on how young children reason about plane and solid shapes across 2D and 3D representations. His areas of interest are spatial reasoning, early geometry learning, and neo-Piagetian theory (Case & Okamoto). He also dabbles in LEGO robotics. He responds to email at You can follow his work at and at

Jiang, Yan

Yan Jiang is a doctoral student of Dept. of Education with an emphasis in Applied Linguistics. She received her B.A. in English from Tsinghua University (China) in 2008 and received an M.A. in Education from San Diego State University in 2011. Her research interest include: second language acquisition, tone and intonation, computer-assisted language learning. You can reach her via email:

Joo, Jenna

Jenna Joo is a 4th-year doctoral student in the Education Department with an emphasis in Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education. Jenna’s research interests broadly involve issues of language, culture, and technology in education. Working with a group of graduate student and faculty researchers, Jenna is currently uncovering instructors' epistemological underpinnings of innovative learning environments (in higher ed) using an ethnographic logic-of-inquiry. Jenna is also involved in a project which aims to demystify the overambitious nature of new online initiatives that promise to provide cheaper, faster and better education (i.e., MOOCs). Jenna's long-term goal is to bring well-informed ethnographic methodologies into researching higher education to explore multi-dimensional contexts at multiple intersecting linguistic, social, cultural and cognitive spaces.  You may contact Jenna at:

Kemp, Jacqueline

Jacqueline Kemp is a doctoral student in the Department of Education with a focus in culture and development. She also participates in the interdisciplinary emphasis in Language, Interaction, and Social Organization. Her advisor is Dr. Amy Kyratzis. She received a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and a M.S. in Human Development and Social Policy from the University of Utah. She has taught university courses at The University of Utah in the Department of Family and Consumer Studies and at Santa Clara University in the Liberal Studies department, including: Development in Infancy and Childhood and Early Childhood Education Curriculum. In addition to teaching and research, Jacqueline has been the Director of three university-affiliated early childhood centers and an active member of NAEYC. Her research interests include: storytelling and story-acting in early childhood classrooms, preschool children’s narrative development, preschool peer group culture, and language and socialization in preschool peer groups.Please feel free to email Jacqueline at  or review her professional materials at:

Kim, Aram

Aram Kim is a doctoral student with an emphasis in cultural perspective and comparative education working with Dr. Dorothy Chun. She received her B.A. in Economics from Duksung women's University and TESOL certificate from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Korea. Before joining UCSB, she worked as an English instructor at a language institute in Korea where she developed her interests in second language learning and language teaching and learning. Her previous experience as an instructor and also as a language learner became a foundation of her interests in exploring how learners' personal experiences inside and outside of classroom form their own language learning experience. She is currently in a process of writing her M.A. thesis based on her research project, which explores how young Korean-speaking English learners demonstrate their understanding of written L2 text through L1 dialogue in a small group language learning setting. The research examines the interaction among learners and a teacher and how they create a context within a group to achieve the goal of group and of each individual.  You may reach Aram at:

Kim, Hui Yon

Hui Yon Kim is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Education with a focus on Policy and Research Methods.  Her advisor is Dr. Michael Gottfried.  Kim received her B.A. and Master of Public Policy (MPP), with a concentration on Social Policy, from UCLA.  Prior to joining the program at UCSB, she worked in policy consulting companies, including Acumen, LLC, Berkeley Policy Associates (now Impaq Int.), and RAND Corporation.  Areas of study during this time included education, workforce/labor, Medicare, green industry, drug trade, and international development.  Her primary interest is broadly in educational equity and bridging the academic achievement gap.  You may contact Hui Yon at:

La Joy, Jonna

Jonna La Joy is a doctoral student with an emphasis in Science and Mathematics Education. Her advisor is Dr. Yukari Okamoto. Jonna received her M.A. in Child and Adolescent Development from San José State University in 2013 and received her B.A. in Psychology from Sonoma State University in 2009. Her research interests include mathematics and science education, quantitative research methodology, educational psychology, child and adolescent development, and cognitive science. Her current research is on fractions and the influence of procedural and conceptual knowledge on mathematical self-efficacy and attitudes about mathematics.   or review her professional work at:

Law, Mariah

Mariah Law is a science education doctoral student. She received a B.S. degree in Space Physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2014. Though her research interests include a wide range of topics in physics education, she is currently involved in research concerning undergraduate students. She is specifically studying a student’s ability to identify and use evidence to support their understanding of a physics experiment in writing. Future directions of study will likely include studying what experiences and attributes create a student’s identity as a physicist. Mariah may be contacted at:

Leak, Anne Emerson

Anne is a doctoral student pursuing her degree in science education in GGSE. She began working with her advisor Danielle Harlow after finishing an undergraduate degree in physics at Gettysburg College and researching access to science education for girls in Cameroon, West Africa as a Fulbright Fellow. Anne’s research centers on the school context, including curriculum, culture, and environment, as students learn science and engineering. She explores these aspects in students from kindergarten through graduate school with the goal of improving interest, ability, and access for under-represented students. Within this agenda, her current projects center on the role of community-driven, place-based science education on improving science learning and health in rural Kenya, examining elementary students' social interactions as they learn to program with new technologies, and the ways in which graduate students in chemistry learn to network and collaborate across cultures through research visits to China. To learn more about Anne’s research and teaching endeavors, please visit her website at  or you may contact her at:

Lee, Wona

Wona Lee is a doctoral student with an emphasis in cultural perspectives and comparative education working with Dr. Jin Sook Lee. She was born and raised in Korea and moved to the States 17 years ago. While trying to get accustomed to her new life in this diverse society as a mother of two American born Korean children, Wona became passionate about bilingualism and heritage language maintenance. After getting a master's degree in applied linguistics at San Diego State University, she taught various Korean language classes and introductory linguistics classes at various places.  At present, Wona’s specific interest is how children learn in a bilingual context. In order to explore this topic, she is working on the data from a Korean/English dual language immersion program.  Wona may be reached at:

Macias, Heather

Heather Macias is a doctoral student with an emphasis in Culture and Literacy. She received her B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Southern California in 2006 and received a single subject teaching credential in both English and Fine Arts, as well as an M.A.T. in Secondary Education from the University of Southern California in 2007. After graduation, Heather taught for seven years at the largest charter school in the nation, Granada Hills Charter High School, where she taught English/Language Arts and served as a community service-based club advisor, in addition to working as an assistant cheer coach/advisor for nationally ranked teams.  Though her research interests are relatively broad, she is currently involved in research concerning bilingual education, Latino student achievement, literacy, and arts-integrated education. Future directions of study will likely include Latino home literacy practices and the effects of early literacy exposure on future school readiness.  Heather may be reached at:

Mainz, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Mainz is a M.A./Ph.D. student in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the area of Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education with an emphasis in Applied Linguistics.  She earned a BA in English from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where she also began her work in education. She has taught at the middle school, high school, and adult education levels, teaching Literature, Writing, English Langauage Learning, Drama, and Vocal Studies.  Her life as an educator began with the federally funded TRiO program, Upward Bound, and this experience proved foundational to her research agenda. Elizabeth has just finished a project on the language beliefs of teachers working within the SKILLS program at UCSB, and how their language beliefs influence their beliefs about teaching.  Her research agenda combines the beliefs of teachers and the influence these beliefs have on teacher/student interaction and teacher identity, which she examines through a sociolinguistics framework.  Please connect with Elizabeth via LinkedIn,, or her website at:

McBeath, Jasmine

Jasmine McBeath is a doctoral student with an emphasis in Learning, Culture, and Technology, working with Dr. Richard Durán. She received a B.A. in Spanish and a B.S. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. In addition to studying, she made the most of her undergraduate experience by interning in a psychology laboratory, working as a Resident Assistant, and learning silly songs to entertain elementary students in Camp Wildcat. After college, Jasmine spent a year teaching English to indigenous leaders in Manaus, Brazil on a Fulbright Scholarship. The last few years she has enjoyed working for nonprofit organizations in California and New Mexico as a teacher, community organizer, and case manager. Her research interests include equity and access to education, science education, MakerSpaces, and construction of culture through interaction.  Jasmine may be reached at:

Meier, Valerie

Valerie Meier is an Education doctoral student working with Dr. Jin Sook Lee. She holds a BA and BFA from Tufts University, an MA in Composition from San Francisco State University, and an MA in Second Language Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. In addition to having taught a wide range of reading and writing classes at US universities, she has also taught English in Japan and Laos. Her research interests broadly include academic literacies, second language acquisition, and language-in-education policies; her current focus is on better understanding how teachers can capitalize on their students’ bilingual resources in order to promote the acquisition of academic literacies in one or more languages. You can contact Valerie at

McIntosh, Sean

Sean McIntosh is a doctoral student under the special education emphasis, with Dr. George Singer acting as his advisor. After receiving his B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2000, he worked in special education as an aide for students with low-incidence and developmental disabilities and as a teacher of students with emotional disturbances before pursuing graduate work. His research interests include special education teacher education and preparation, transition programs(workforce and higher education) for people with disabilities, disability studies, and assistive technology. He may reached at:

Morgan, Micaela

Micaela Morgan is an education doctoral student with a research focus area of Policy, Leadership, and Research Methods under the guidance of Dr. Michael Gerber. Her research focuses on improving community college student’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) engagement and transfer success through an ongoing study involving two local community colleges. Micaela is a Graduate Student Member of the Higher Education Research Group (HERG), which focuses on various aspects of the transfer student pipeline. She is also a Co-Founder and Steering Committee Member of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education’s Higher Education Action and Research Consortium (HEARC). Micaela received her Bachelor’s in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her Master’s in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara. You can reach Micaela at

O'Malley, Dr. M. Whitney

Whitney O'Malley is a Brython-Davis and Graduate Research and Mentorship Fellow completing her doctoral degree with an emphasis in Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education, as well as an interdisciplinary emphasis in Language, Interaction, and Social Organization (LISO). Her advisor is Amy Kyratzis. Whitney received her B.A. in Sociocultural Linguistics, and her M.A. in Education, both at UC Santa Barbara. Her research interests include student affairs in higher education, language socialization, social interaction, student and youth organizations, and student involvement. Whitney's master's thesis explored the social interactions and status negotiations among student organization members. Her dissertation investigated the significance of participation in college student organizations in students' overall college experiences via interviews and interactional data. Whitney finds working with, and for, students very fulfilling, and is pursuing a career in Student Affairs. To learn more about Whitney's experiences and interests, please visit her website:

Otto, Kara

Kara Otto is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her work emphasizes writing studies and applied linguistics from within a language, literacy, and composition studies specialization at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. She has taught academic writing for five years, working with both international and domestic students in first-year composition and writing in the disciplines. Additionally, she teaches English language intensives for international students prior to the start of their first academic term. She has taught both undergraduate and graduate students. Her current research interests include the effects of peers on the decision-making process of international student writers in a disciplinary course, the commenting practices of teaching assistants in the disciplines, and the internationalization of teaching credential programs in sending pre-service teachers abroad. She has also researched a foreign university’s English language policy, in addition to the corresponding language planning and attitudes of its teachers and administrators. Her website is

Narvaez-Cardona, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Narváez-Cardona is an international doctoral student from Colombia, with an emphasis in Writing Studies, working with Dr. Charles Bazerman. In 2011, she received a cooperative Fulbright scholarship with the Colombian Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation (Colciencias). In Colombia, she is a university faculty member who has taught academic and professional writing in Spanish in different disciplines and also has acted as a consultant on higher education pedagogy. Under the guidance of her adviser, she has been working since 2013 in a cooperative research project to describe research and curriculum initiatives on reading and writing in Latin-American Higher Education ( She is currently interested in researching on writing development in disciplines, since the Colombian Government has mandated in 2009 an exit large-scale assessment on writing development for undergraduate students.

Nguyen, Dana

Dana Nguyen is a doctoral student in the Special Education, Disabilities and Risk Studies program working under Dr. Mian Wang. She received her B.A. from University of California, San Diego in 2007 where she studied Psychology and was involved in research at the Autism Clinic.  She continued work in the field of autism as an applied behavior analyst before starting her doctoral program here at University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012. Currently, she is interested in studying disability through a family systems approach and looking into parent training and resources available for families, especially those from culturally diverse backgrounds.  Emails are welcome at

Park, Kyusang

Kyusang Park is a doctoral student with an emphasis in Quantitative Research Methodology.  His research interests include (1) psychometrics and applied statistics: mixture IRT (mixture Rasch) modeling, Diagnostic Classification Modeling (DCM), General Diagnostic Modeling (GDM); (2) educational and psychological measurement: latent variable approach to differential item functioning (DIF), standardized testing, STEM studies, language proficiency assessment.  You may contact Kyusang at:

Pieng, Patrick

Patrick Pieng is a doctoral student with an emphasis in child development.  His advisor is Dr. Yukari Okamoto.  Patrick received his B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from University of California Los Angeles in 2006.  While at UCLA, he also minored in Applied Developmental Psychology.  After graduating from UCLA, he taught preschool for two years before beginning his graduate work.  Patrick has explored the relation between preschool children’s theories of mind understanding and their conflict resolution strategies.  His current research explores the use of movement and role play to help children develop their understanding of complex emotions such as guilt and jealousy.  You may email Patrick at:

Plasman, Jay

Jay Plasman is a doctoral student with an emphasis in quantitative methods.  He is working with Dr. Michael Gottfried as his advisor.  Jay received his B.A. in American Studies with a Social Studies teaching credential from Carleton College and received his M.A. in International Service from Roehampton University.  After completing his undergraduate degree, Jay, worked at an aquarium, taught third-eighth grades in the Marshall Islands, and completed a year of AmeriCorps service before returning to school for his M.A.  After receiving his M.A., Jay worked as an Epidemiologist for two years, and then returned to teaching at a vocational training program.  His current research interests include the impact of CTE and STEM on student graduation and dropout, as well other dropout prevention and reengagement strategies.  Feel free to contact him at

Tallman, Tiesha

Tiesha is a doctoral student in Education with an emphasis in Language and Literacy. Tiesha is working with Dr. Charles Bazerman on her dissertation involving Junior ROTC and high school students. She graduated with her BA in English and a minor in French from UC Santa Barbara in 2003. After earning her MA in Education from UC Santa Cruz in 2006 she taught high school English before returning to Santa Barbara to work on her PhD. You may contact Tiesha at:

Wang, Tiange

Tiange Wang is a 2nd year PhD student in Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned her MA degree in Linguistics at Beijing Normal University, China. By employing the methods of corpus linguistics and text analysis, her MA thesis compared the use of text-organizing metadiscourse in MA theses written by Chinese EFL learners and native English speakers. Her current research focuses on heritage language maintenance and dual language programs. Recently she is undertaking a research project aiming to explore and describe the early development of Chinese‑American children's heritage language, Mandarin Chinese.  Tiange may be reached at:

Warneke, John

John is a doctoral student working with Dr. Betsy Brenner (Department of Education) and Dr. Gurinder Singh Mann (Department of Religious Studies). He holds a M.A. in sociocultural anthropology from UC Santa Barbara, and a B.A. in anthropology from UC Santa Cruz. His research interests include educational anthropology, cultural production, and Sikh and Punjab Studies. Associated with the Center for Sikh and Punjab Studies at UCSB, John assists in the teaching of Punjabi language and is active in community outreach projects. He can be reached at

Wu, Ti

Ti Wu is a 4th year MA/PhD student in the Department of Education advised by Dr. Charles Bazerman. Her research emphases are Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education, and Writing Studies. Wu Ti grew up and received her education from kindergarten to undergraduate in China. She received her BA degree in English Language and Literature in China University of Geosciences (Beijing). She came to America in 2011 for graduate studies at UCSB. From then on, inspired by her advisor’s research field, she started to see the social connections and understand the culture around her through writing activities. In her current research, she uses Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) to explore international student language and second language literacy in US universities, and how do the literacy influence student academic English writing development. Her research interests include: writing theory, second language writing, learning and meta-cognition, university and social organizations. She can be reached by:

Yang, Rong

Rong Yang is a doctoral student with an emphasis in Teaching and Learning. Her advisor is Dr. Dorothy M. Chun. She received her B. A. and M.A. in English Language and Literature from Sun Yat-sen University in P.R.C. Her research interests include: Second/foreign language teaching and learning, technology and language education, and cross-cultural communications. She is currently working on an online intercultural exchange project between language learners.

Yeon, Sookyung

Sookyung Yeon is a M.A. Education student with an emphasis in Culture and Development. Her advisor is Dr. Hsiu-Zu Ho. She received her B.A. in Business Administration from Chung-Nam National University and her M.A. in Business Administration from Chung-Ang University in Korea. She worked as a lecturer and an education program planner at Human Resource Development (HRD) Company. She lectured on communication, positive thinking and human relationships. Her research interests include: parent involvement, parent-child communication, and child development in particular their self-esteem, independence, and positive thinking. You may contact Sookyung at: 

Zhang, Yu

Yu Zhang, cultural perspective and comparative education, interested in cognitive development, mathematics education and cross-cultural research.  Yu may be reached at: