Current Students

PhD Students

Aminger, Walter
Walter Aminger is a second 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: waminger@education.ucsb.edu

Aragón, María José
María José Aragón is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Education with an emphasis in Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education. Her advisor is Dr. Richard Durán. She received an M.A. in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University and a B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University. Her research focuses on students’ language and literacy practices in linguistically, culturally, and racially diverse learning contexts. Her areas of interest include language and schooling, educational equity, sociocultural linguistics, critical pedagogy, bilingual/dual language programs, and education policy. She can be reached at maragon@education.ucsb.edu

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:  mashlock@education.ucsb.edu

Balos, Noreen
Noreen Balos is a second-year doctoral student in the Learning, Culture & Technology program with an Interdisciplinary Emphasis in Global Studies. With her background in science and professional experience in higher education, her research interests include: STEM Education, Culture in STEM, and Access & Equity in STEM. Under the advisement of Dr. Diana Arya, collaboration with Dr. Maria Napoli, and consultation with Dr. Judith Green, Noreen is currently researching the “Problem-based Initiatives for Powerful Engagement and Learning In Naval Engineering and Science” (PIPELINES) program which creates engineering and science design experiences for undergraduates, community college veterans and underrepresented minority students, who major in STEM-related subjects and wish to explore a civil career in the Navy.  The goal of the ethnographic study is to provide insights into veterans’ and minority students’ perceptions of science and engineering as a way of thinking and being, while gauging transformations in student thinking, understanding, and perceiving Naval work. The team also hopes the work gives insight into the factors affecting veterans’ and minority students’ preparation, participation and academic success in STEM.  Noreen can be reached at nbalos@education.ucsb.edu

Barrios, John Cano
I am a first year doctoral student. I'm from Barranquilla (Colombia) where I used to teach and research in the fields of educational technology, online education and intercultural education. I got a bachelors degree in Computer Science and Masters degree in Education with an emphasis in Educational Technology at Universidad del Norte (Barranquilla) where I used to teach for undergraduate and graduate students (from the master of education program) in face-to-face, blended and online environments. Right now I'm working along with my advisor, Dr. Arya as a technology specialist within the McEnroe Reading Clinic, where I support projects and research how technology can enhance the teaching and learning process. I'm very interested in research how technology can promote engagement and motivation for learning, as well in designing curriculum to foster digital literacy in students.  John can be reached at  jcanobarrios@ucsb.edu or his personal blog:  johncanob.blogspot.com

 

Bernstein, Emily
Emily Bernstein is a doctoral student with an emphasis in Special Education. Her advisor is Dr. George H. S. Singer. Her research interests span several approaches to improving outcomes for students with disabilities, including work with families, positive behavior interventions and supports, and qualities of change-making teachers, particularly special educators. Prior to her doctoral studies, Emily worked as an elementary school special education teacher in low-income communities in East San Jose and Santa Barbara, California, and she continues to work with youth in the Santa Barbara area as she pursues her studies. Emily may be reached at: ebernstein@education.ucsb.edu

Bradford, Keri
Keri Bradford (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) is a third-year M.A./Ph.D. student in the Department of Education, working in the areas of Culture and Development, and Policy, Leadership, and Research Methods. Her advisors are Dr. Sharon Conley and Dr. Hsiu-Zu Ho. Her research focuses on issues of access and retention affecting Native American college students. In 2011, she completed a certificate in Tribal Law ("Working in Contemporary Native Nations") from UCLA. Keri can be reached by email at kbradford@education.ucsb.edu.

 

Carter, Delwin
Delwin Carter is a doctoral student emphasizing in quantitative methods. His advisor is Karen Nylund-Gibson. He received his B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Experimental Psychology at California State University, Northridge. His broad interests include latent variable analysis, measurement, and structural equation modeling. More specifically, he has done research in several substantive areas including peer victimization, perceived discrimination, and depression. Methodologically speaking, his current research involves mediation/moderation, factor analysis, measurement invariance, and item-order effects. 

Chagolla, Diana
Diana Chagolla is a second year doctoral student in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education specializing in the area of Culture and Development, her advisor is Dr. Laura Romo. Diana obtained her bachelors degree in Sociology from San Diego State University (SDSU). At UCSB, she has served as a graduate mentor for first generation undergraduate students participating in the New Heights Mentoring Program offered through the Chicano Studies Institute. Her research interests are health education and health psychology as it pertains to Latinx/a/o adolescents and families. Currently her IRP focuses on how Latina mothers communicate with adolescent daughters about healthy lifestyles while providing messages that encourage healthier eating and exercising habits and messages cautioning daughters about chronic health diseases. Diana can be reached at: diana_chagolla@ucsb.edu

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-boys prep school in Cleveland, Ohio. His research interests include culturally sustaining pedagogy, teacher professionalism, systemic educational inequalities, and philosophical issues in the social sciences. You may contact Anthony at: clairmont@education.ucsb.edu.

Downey, Jonathan
Jonathan is a doctoral student in the Learning, Culture and Technology program. Prior to arriving at UCSB, he studied Spanish literature at Tufts University in Boston (B.A.) and language acquistion at the University of the Basque Country in Northern Spain (M.A.) He has worked as an ESL instructor in Europe and the Middle East, and as a high school Spanish teacher in Colorado. Currently, he is building course materials for an online UC Basque Language and Culture course, and is employed as a teaching assistant in the UCSB English Department. Jonathan’s research is oriented towards developing tools and resources for autonomous ESL learners. His specific research interests include pronunciation training with smart phone apps, online language learning platforms, L2 fluency perception, and augmented reality for multimodal input. Feel free to contact him at: jdowney@education.ucsb.edu

Edwards, Jeremy
Jeremy Edwards is a fourth-year doctoral student with an emphasis in Cultural and Developmental Studies. In 2014, he received his B.A. in Psychology from UCLA with a minor in Education Studies. Under the advisory of Dr. Richard Duran, his current research focuses on university partnerships with local high schools in efforts to engage in dialogue about access to higher education for low-income, first generation college-bound students. Ultimately, he is interested in how access to outreach programs can help create academic pathways for urban youth in efforts to promote academic growth and self-concept. As VP of Communications, he looks forward to helping bridge the gap between incoming and continuing students through events and online forums, and create more communal spaces that encourage students to explore their research identities.

 

Fahler, Valentina
Valentina is a first year doctoral student in the Education department with an emphasis in language and literacy working with Dr. Karen Lunsford and Dr. Diana Arya. She received her B.A. in Letters (with focus in Linguistics) from the Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 2015, and a specialization degree in Education Policy from the Universidad Torcuato di Tella (Argentina) in 2017. Her research interest is writing in higher education; specifically, how undergraduate students build knowledge within the writing practices in their particular fields. Prior to arriving to UCSB, Valentina was an initial literacy teacher at the Fundación Franciscana, a non governmental organization. She was also part of a research group from the Universidad de Buenos Aires that focused in undergraduate student writing in humanities degrees. Feel free to contact her at fahler@education.ucsb.edu

Ford, Katerina
Katerina Ford is a third 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: kford@education.ucsb.edu

Gordon, Melissa
Melissa Gordon is a doctoral student focusing on quantitative research methods under the guidance of Dr. Andy Maul and Dr. Karen Nylund-Gibson. She is interested in latent variables analyses, measurement, causality, and research design. Substantively, she focuses on social justice research and medical research. She can be reached at mgordon@education.ucsb.edu.

 

Gribble, Jim
Jim is a doctoral student with an emphasis in technology at the elementary school level. His advisor is Dr. Danielle Harlow. He is interested in researching the impact computer coding has on the communication skills of children with autism. Prior to arriving at UCSB he was a Kindergarten teacher with TeachForAmerica in Charlotte, a founding 2nd grade teacher at an environmental start-up school in Chicago, technology coordinator and teacher at an IB PYP school in London and a 2nd grade Science and Coding teacher in San Francisco. He wrote the programming curriculum (based on Scratch language) for a school founded by the Chief Scientist of Twitter and founded a company dedicated to teaching children how to code in after-school and one-on-one contexts. Jim taught teachers how to code in the Design Lab at the Sonoma County Office of Education. He earned a B.A. in Psychology at Marquette University, an elementary teaching credential at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and an M.Ed. at San Francisco State University. Feel free to email Jim at: jgribble@education.ucsb.edu

Guerrero, Ana Y.
Ana Y. Guerrero is a fourth year PhD student in the UCSB Department of Education with a research emphasis in Culture and Development. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012. With the guidance of her advisor, Dr. Richard Duran, she is undertaking narrative case studies exploring local Latinx high school students’ preparation for college and emerging college and career aspirations. Her research interests span identity development, educational equity, multicultural education, academic motivation and Latinx concerns in Education. In pursuing her research program, Ana is an active member of the Bridging Multiple Worlds Alliance bringing together grad students and faculty from several universities to plan and conduct research on P- 20 strategies improving access to college among communities underrepresented in higher education. Since 2014, she has worked with the UCSB Office of Education Partnerships as a co-coordinator in the Pathways college readiness program for first-generation and low-income students in local high schools – Ana herself participated in the parent program to Pathways as a local high school student. Ana is also a Graduate Student Program Assistant in the ONDAS Student Center as part of Title V grant to UCSB as a Hispanic Serving Institution. You can reach Ana at the following e-mail address: guerrero@education.ucsb.edu  

Hai, Jessica
Jessica Hai is a third-year graduate student in the Special Education, Disability and Risk Studies program. With the guidance of her advisor, Dr. Mian Wang she has been able to explore the special education community with a cultural lens. Her research interests include the cultural implications of Autism Spectrum Disorder and how that affects the process of assessment and intervention services. Her long term goal is to provide more awareness to families of cultural backgrounds who currently are stigmatized to seek assistance or do not have access to those resources. She is also a clinician providing behavioral interventions and Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) to individuals on the spectrum at the Koegel Autism Center. Any questions or contact queries can be directed to her email: Jhai@education.ucsb.edu

Hallowell, David
David Hallowell 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 dhallowell@education.ucsb.edu. You can follow his work at https://ucsb.academia.edu/DavidHallowell and at http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=XNyn2RIAAAAJ&hl

Hao, Jing
Jing Hao Jing Hao 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. Her faculty advisors are Dr. Cook-Gumperz and Dr. Conley. She received her B.A. in Journalism from Northwest University (Shannxi, China) in 2009. She received her M.Ed. in Education from University of Central Oklahoma in 2012. She is currently working on a dissertation examining Chinese international students' pre-arrival preparation and post-arrival adaptation issues in U.S. University.  Her research interests also include: internationalization of higher education, intercultural adaptation and institution services of international students.  Jing Hao can be contacted at: jhao@education.ucsb.edu

 

Jing Yu
Jing Yu is a third-year doctoral student in Department of Education with an interdisciplinary emphasis in Appliied Linguistics advised by Diana Atya.  She received M.A. in TESOL from the Ohio State University in 2015.  Her research interested include: second language socialization. academic discourse socialization as well as 'third space theory' in intercultural communication.  She majorly looks at the languaculture socialization of international Chinese undergraduates within the US higher education, including academic challenges, social internaction and cultural adjustment. Specifically, she focuses primarily on how social identities and cultural practices are brought into being through students 'linguistic interaction in the classroom.  Ethnographic methodology has been adopted to investigate what cultural knowledge and practices may support or challenge Chinesse international students' experiences during their process of adapation in a new learning milieu.  Jing Yu can be reached at jyu@education.ucsb.edu 

Katz, Daniel
Danny Katz is a third year graduate student with interests in quantitative methods, education policy, and educational measurement. His advisers are Dr. Andrew Maul and Dr. Karen Nylund-Gibson. Danny received his BA in political science from UCSB where he was introduced to quantitative methods of analysis in the social sciences. After graduating, he spent roughly three years working at an academic publisher, sparking his interests in educational research and measurement. Between working at a publisher and going to graduate school, Danny spent a year travelling across the country to race his bike while also working at a bike shop. Danny is currently involved in projects related to educational assessment at UCSB, measurement  and, more recently, the California Dropout Research Project. Other lingering areas of interest include vocational and technical education and The Lexile. Danny can be reached at dkatz@education.ucsb.edu

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 jkemp@education.ucsb.edu or review her professional materials at:  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jacqueline_Kemp

Kennedy, Kelsee
Kelsee Kennedy is a fourth year doctoral candidate in the Department of Education with an emphasis in Special Education, Disabilities, and Risk Studies (SPEDR). She received a bachelors degree from UCSB in Psychology in 2011 as well as an Education Specialist Instruction Credential for individuals with exceptionalities who have moderate to severe support needs and a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in SPEDR in 2013. In 2015, she completed an Education Specialist Instruction Credential for individuals with exceptionalities who have mild to moderate support needs at Antioch University, Santa Barbara. Currently, she works as an Education Specialist for a full inclusion program for exceptional students, a teaching assistant for the Language Arts course in the Teacher Education Program at UCSB, and a Cooperating Teacher at Antioch University. Her past applied experiences include working as a Behaviorist in school settings for Hope School District, a Program Supervisor and Researcher at the Koegel Autism Clinic, and a Reading Instructor for English Language Learners at the McEnroe Reading Clinic at UC Santa Barbara. Her research interests include: Autism, Emotional Disturbance, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavior/Character Development, Social Emotional Learning, Restorative Justice Discipline, Teacher Education, and the Pipeline to Prison phenomenon for students with exceptionalities. Please feel free to contact her at kkennedy@education.ucsb.edu.

Kim, Aram
Aram Kim is a doctoral student with an emphasis in cultural perspective and comparative education. Her advisors are Dr. Dorothy Chun and Dr. Diana Arya. Prior to attending UCSB, she worked as an English instructor at a language institute in Korea teaching adult learners. She received her M.A in Education at UCSB focusing on L2 language learners’ reading strategies. She is currently working on her a dissertation examining the relationship between community-based literacy activities and literate identity construction. Her research interests includes literacy practice and identity construction, literacy practice in non-school setting, second language acquisition, reading comprehension, interaction and dialogue in language learning, discourse analysis, social context of language learning. She is a UCSB Campus liaison of AERA Division G. You may reach Aram at: okim@education.ucsb.edu

Kirksey, Jacob
Jacob Kirksey is a PhD student with research interests in the economics of education and education policy. His advisor is Dr. Michael Gottfried in the Policy, Leadership and Research Methods focus in the education department. Jacob received his B.A. in economics and education from Colorado College, where he also competed nationally in speech/debate competitions. Professionally, Jacob has worked for two nonprofit organizations, taught K-12 theater in schools, and designed his own after school programs. Through these positions, he has designed several workshops for teachers, parents and students, focusing on issues related to school engagement. Currently, Jacob is working on research projects related to peer effects, suspension rates, and special education via a policy perspective. His interests also include teacher education and preparation in STEM subjects and shaping STEM pathways for students and adults with disabilities. For more information on Jacob or his research, please visit www.jjacobkirksey.com or email jkirksey@education.ucsb.edu.

Kwong, Wai-Yee Ann
Ann Wai-Yee Kwong is a Ph.D. student in the education program with the emphasis of Special Education, Disabilities, and Risk Studies advised by Dr. Wang. She received her B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Education from UC Berkeley as a Gates Millennium scholar. Prior to her attendance at UC Santa Barbara, she worked as an education technician intern in Washington DC disaggregating student suicidality data and analyzing its negative impact on both student and school excellence. Ann testified at the U.S. Senate hearing in 2014 to advocate for herself and others, informing policy makers of the attitudinal and tangible societal barriers which limit the potentials of people with disabilities. Her research interests include: creation of innovative workforce development curriculum for transition age youth with disabilities, self-determination, and cultural implications of professional and family partnerships. She is currently collaborating with UCP Work Inc. on designing and implementing curricula to increase competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities and their families; she recently concluded a project with the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) on implications of cultural reciprocity with the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and pre-employment transition services. In addition, Ann co-founded Survive or Thrive where she designs and facilitates workshops as well as mentors youth with disabilities and their families. In a professional capacity, she also serves on various boards including the California Department of Rehabilitation's Advisory Committee and the Association on Higher Education and Disability. Through her research and advocacy, Ann hopes to continue empowering others to envision, define, and achieve their future aspirations. She can be reached at: akwong@education.ucsb.edu.

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. jlajoy@education.ucsb.edu   or review her professional work at:  https://ucsb.academia.edu/JonnaLaJoy

Langlo, Tatzia
Tatzia Langlo is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Education in the research focus area of Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education, working with Professor Jenny Cook-Gumperz and Dr. Tine Sloan as her advisors. Langlo’s research interests reach into the development of global learning-teaching communities and the need for increased communication, cultural awareness, and contextual competencies involved with interacting as citizens on the stage of the global world. As a scholar and researcher she works with a non-profit organization based on principles and practices of civil participation, service-learning, and education assistance through development of local and global relationships. She maintains interdisciplinary Ph.D. emphases in Global Studies and Language, Interaction, and Social Organization. 

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: wlee@education.ucsb.edu

Lew, Lilly Chung
Lilly is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Education department with a Language and Literacy emphasis.  She earned her B.A. in European History at University of California, Riverside (UCR) and her M.A. in Education: Curriculum and Instruction at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) with an emphasis in literacy specialist. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Lilly taught writing composition for secondary education (grades 7-12), assisted with implementation of large scale writing assessments in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and is a fellow of the Los Angeles Writing Project (LAWP). Under the advisement of Dr. Richard Durán, she is exploring storytelling in community-based literacies, equity and access to technology, and the learning opportunities made available through university-community partnerships.  Lilly is also interested in the role of literacy in identity development and the ways that engaging in literacy activities could foster human agency. Her research has been made possible through her affiliation with researchers at both University-Community (UC) Links and the Center for Education Research on Literacies, Learning & Inquiry in Networking Communities (LINC).   She is also serving as the campus liaison for Division G: Social Context of Education at the American Educational Research Association (AERA).  You may contact Lilly at: llew@education.ucsb.edu

Li, Simeng (Karen)
Simeng (Karen) is a doctoral candidate with an emphasis in special education and learning technology, advised by Dr. Mian Wang. She received her B.A. in Journalism and M.S. in Instructional Technology from Jilin University, China. Prior to joining University of California Santa Barbara, she taught elementary school students in China. She also worked for a non-governmental organization in New Delhi, India to develop teaching programs for underprivileged school children. Currently, she is working on a research project in learning science as applied to STEM higher education pedagogy with Dr. Mian Wang and Dr. Michael Gerber. Meanwhile, she is also collaborating with three special education schools to develop an evidence-based learning application for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her research interests include: instructional technologies, students with developmental disabilities, and inclusion education in China. She can be reached at: sli@education.ucsb.edu

Lin, Yixin
Yixin Lin is a doctoral student with an emphasis in Special Education working with Dr. Mian Wang. She received her B.A. in Business Administration from Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in China. In the meantime, she worked as a volunteer teacher in a special education school for three years. Then she received an M.S. from Columbia University in Social Work. During her graduate study, she also worked as an intern in Hamilton-Madison House Childcare Center and the Association to Benefit Children in New York.  Her research interests include: autism ,developmental delay, inclusive education in both United States and China, and cross-cultural special education. Though her research interests are relatively broad, she is currently involved in research about an autism app design with her advisor. Her longer term research purpose is to further study on inclusive education of children with autism and developmental delay. Yixin can be reached at yixinlin@umail.ucsb.edu.

Macias, Heather
Heather Macias Heather Macias is a doctoral student with research interests in multilingual literacy, literacy education, and sociocultural learning theory under Dr. Richard Duran; she also has interdisciplinary research interests in applied linguistics and feminist studies. Heather 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.  Previously, Heather served as the President of the Graduate Student Association for the Education Department. Currently, she is the Vice President of Academic Affairs for the Graduate Student Association at UCSB, the UCSB Campus Liaison Representative for the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the Graduate Student Representative for the University of California Student Mental Health Oversight Committee, and the Graduate Student Representative for the UCSB Student Resources Building Governance Board.  Heather may be reached at:  hmacias@education.ucsb.edu

Macias, Meghan
Meghan is a first year doctoral student working with Dr. Julie Bianchini. She received B.A.'s in Education Sciences and Psychology & Social Behavior with a minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies in 2016 from the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include educational equity and critical pedagogy in preschool settings, persistence and retention in the sciences, and teacher professional development. Currently, she is a part of the MOXI Apprenticeship Program at the Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation. Meghan can be reached at meghanmacias@ucsb.edu

McBeath, Jasmine
Jasmine McBeath is a doctoral candidate with an emphasis in Learning, Culture, and Technology. Jasmine majored in Spanish and Ecology in undergrad at the University of Arizona. After college, she spent a year teaching English to indigenous leaders in Manaus, Brazil on a Fulbright Scholarship. Since then, she has enjoyed working for nonprofit organizations in California and New Mexico as a teacher, community organizer, and case manager. Currently, she leads a makerspace program at a local teen center integrating science, technology, and art into social action projects. She is also the coordinator of the Curie-osity Project where 4-6th grade girls learn about science through researching, interviewing, and writing a book about female scientists at UCSB. Jasmine is interested in afterschool programs that broaden the definition of science, and is passionate about getting more girls to participate in and contribute to STEM fields. https://ucsb.academia.edu/JasmineKyleMcBeath

McLean, Mandy  
Mandy McLean is a second-year doctoral student at UCSB with an emphasis in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. Prior to joining the Education Department at UCSB, she taught physics at a high school in Palo Alto. Her educational background includes a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University, a M.S. in Engineering Mathematics from Dalhousie University, and a M.S. in Environmental and Earth System Science from Stanford University. Mandy's research interests lie at the intersection of STEM education, gender, and play: she is passionate about engaging a diverse group of students (in particular more girls) in STEM. Currently, Mandy is helping to lead the development of a collaborative engineering program between a local elementary school, a UCSB freshmen engineering design class, and a group from the Society of Women Engineers. She is interested in the mutual learning opportunities this program provides to all groups involved. Mandy also conducts research related to Maker education and pre-service science teacher education. You can learn more about Mandy at www.mandymclean.com and you can contact her at amclean@ucsb.edu.

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 vmeier@education.ucsb.edu.

Nazaryan, Sos
Sos Nazaryan is a second year student in the MA/PhD program interested in afterschool programs, digital storytelling, curriculum design, and design based research. He works closely with mentor and advisor Dr. Betsy Brenner to make an impact at the local level through Club Proteo, an afterschool program he has coordinated since 2014 (and been a part of since 2012) that serves over one hundred local elementary students. He is also currently the Teaching Assistant for an undergraduate course in the Department of Education. His goal is to bridge the gap between research and practice to help create learning environments that keep students engaged and equipped with the skills necessary for a bright future. He received his B.A. in Sociology from UCSB in 2014 and explored parent involvement in two-way dual language immersion programs as part of his undergraduate honors thesis. You can contact Sos at sosnazaryan@ucsb.edu.

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 dnguyen@education.ucsb.edu

Pacheco, Fabian
Fabian Pacheco is a third year doctoral student. As an alumnus of the University of California Los Angeles, he graduated with departmental honors in Chicana/o Studies and Sociology, and is currently working under the guidance of Professor Mireles-Rios. Fabian is a strong advocate for ethnic studies both in the K-12 and college-level setting. He enjoys being actively involved in his community of Boyle Heights as a mentor and coach. For his MA thesis, he is looking at the racial socialization practices Latino parents engage with their children during a time of anti-immigrant sentiment. Additional research interest include, but are not limited to, access to higher education, creating a college going culture, and examining various aspects of student experiences that impact their educational attainment and pursuit. Currently, he is a teaching assistance in the Department of Black Studies and can be widely reached at fpacheco@education.ucsb.edu.

Pal, Hui-Ju 
Hui-Ju is a doctoral candidate with an emphasis in Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education and after-school tutoring program under Dr. Hsiu-Zu Ho. She received a B.S. in Music as well as a Teacher Certificate in primary school level from National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan, and a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University. Prior to joining the program at UCSB, she worked for a nonprofit organization which provides an after after-school tutoring program to primary and junior high school students with low socioeconomic status and indigenous students in remote regions. Recently she is undertaking her dissertation research aiming to explore how a community-based after-school tutoring program executed by the primary and middle schools of two Taiwanese indigenous Atayal tribes practicing family-school-community partnerships. Hui-Ju may be reached at: huiju@ucsb.edu.

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 jplasman@education.ucsb.edu

Poyser, Samantha
Samantha Poyser is a second year doctoral student with an emphasis in Special Education, Disabilities, and Risk Studies. Her faculty advisors are Dr. Robert Koegel and Dr. Ty Vernon. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2015. She is a clinician at the Koegel Autism Center, where she works with individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Her current research interests are creating more inclusive educational and community settings for those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Samantha can be reached at Spoyser@ucsb.edu"

Pulgar, Javier
I’m Javier Pulgar (jpulgar@education.ucsb.edu) a third year grad student in Science Education, with emphasis on physics education. My advisor is Dr. Danielle Harlow. Currently I’m working in my second year research project, which consists in studying collective creativity and problem solving. The purpose is to develop a model that allows us to understand how effective and original groups might be in creating/designing solutions to particular problems in physics. Additionally, I’m interesting in developing instruments to measure individual divergent thinking in the context of physics problem solving, and the dimensions that this may involve. Due to my experience teaching physics in a Chilean university (Universidad del Bio Bio, in Concepcion, where I come from), my research interests are oriented towards college students. 

Sanosa, David
David Sañosa is a doctoral student emphasizing in Learning, Culture, and Technology under the advisory of Dr. Richard Durán and is broadly interested in the research and development of technology-based learning environments and strategies. He received his B.S. in Biopsychology from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UCSB where he assisted investigations in the use of virtual models for chemistry education. He has also worked as a research assistant on validity studies for NAEP digitally based science assessments and as a developer at a virtual reality software company located in downtown Santa Barbara. He currently assists makerspace activities at a local teen center where he has worked with youth in constructing creative projects using digital and electronic platforms such as Scratch and Arduino. His current research interests focus on the use of technology to engage youth in processes such as computer programming and digital music production (and by sheer coincidence, he enjoys these activities in his personal time). In addition, he is currently developing an application for Scratch-like visual programming within an immersive virtual reality environment. Email: dsanosa@education.ucsb.edu

Serrano-Gutierrez, Gabby
Gabby is a third year doctoral student with an emphasis in Culture and Development. Her advisor is Dr. Laura Romo. Gabby received her B.A. from UC Santa Barbara in Chicana/o Studies with a minor in Education. Her current research focuses on how Latina and Latino college students compare in their perception of being first-generation in the context of their academic and social experiences. She is also interested in fostering Latina high school students’ motivation and interest to pursue STEM in college. Gabby can be reached at: ggutierrezserrano@ucsb.edu

 

Solis, Bertin
Bertin Solis earned a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Educational Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). In collaboration with  Dr. Richard P. Durán and Dr. Zuleyma Carruba-Rogel, Bertin has conducted research on the civic engagement and literacy practices of Latinx parents as part of their engagement in a school-community partnership program. He has also conducted research with Dr. Frances Contreras from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) on the college choice process of African American students in California and on college access and equity issues for Latinx students. He is now a doctoral student in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education (GGSE) where he works with Dr. Richard P. Durán on case studies of Latinx transfer students attending a 4-year university. This research examines the cultural resources and challenges operating in students’ lives that support or hinder their educational progress and their academic/career aspirations.

Sperling, Jenny
Jenny Sperling is a third-year doctoral student with an emphasis in literacies, languages, and cultures working with Dr. Diana Arya. She received her B.A. in Spanish and Comparative literature from our beautiful community campus here at UCSB in 2011. After graduation, she spent her time coaching women's high school basketball and working in a restaurant, ultimately working toward saving money for her future graduate studies. In 2013 she attended Berkeley, where she received her M.A. in Education, focusing on the cultural studies of sport in education. Currently, her research explores both students' and teachers' language and literacy practices, both inside and outside of classroom settings. Her areas of interest include discourse analysis, interactional ethnography, sociocultural linguistics, and  critical/reality pedagogy and literacies. She welcomes your emails always at: jsperling@education.ucsb.edu

Spina Deidre, Alexis
Alexis Spina Clifford is a second-year doctoral student with an emphasis in math education and is working with Dr. Sarah Roberts. She received her B.A. in Physics Education from the University of Delaware in 2007 and her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Science Education from the University of Delaware in 2009. She has taught math and science at a small boarding school in Ojai, CA for the past 8 years and decided to return to school to start her PhD. Currently, her research interests are professional development in math education and retention in math classes for females in high school. Alexis is thrilled to be a part of the UCSB GGSE program and loves our beautiful campus. You can reach her at: adspina@education.ucsb.edu.

Tanous, Chelsea
Chelsea Tanous is a fourth-year doctoral student with an interdisciplinary emphasis in Language, Interaction, and Social Organization (LISO) working with Dr. Amy Kyratzis. Chelsea received her B.A. in French and Spanish at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2011, after which she spent one year working as an interpreter and translator while teaching a high school French independent study course. She received her M.A. in French and Applied Linguistics from the University of Alabama in 2014, where her thesis research project explored the communicative strategies of undergraduate and graduate students of French in classroom and informal contexts. Her current research focuses on issues in second language learning, including language socialization, intercultural communication, issues of culture and community, and the negotiation of identity in interaction. Chelsea currently teaches French language courses through the Department of French and Italian at UCSB and works as an instructor in the McEnroe Reading and Language Arts Clinic. She can be reached at ctanous@education.ucsb.edu. To review Chelsea’s current research and teaching projects, please visit her website at: https://chelseatanous.com/

Wang, Tiange
Tiange Wang Tiange Wang is a doctoral candidate in Education, working with Dr. Jin Sook Lee, and she is enrolled in the Applied Linguistics interdisciplinary emphasis. She earned her B.A. degree in English Language and Literature and an M.A. degree in Linguistics from Beijing Normal University, China. She started her doctoral studies in the year of 2013 and her research interests include bilingualism, heritage language maintenance and second language acquisition. Her current research project examines the curriculum and its implementation in a Chinese-English Dual Language Immersion school. Tiange may be reached at: twang@education.ucsb.edu.

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. ryang@education.ucsb.edu

Yu, Jing
Jing Yu is a third-year doctoral student in Department of Education with an interdisciplinary emphasis in Applied Linguistics advised by Dr. Diana Arya. She received M.A. in TESOL from the Ohio State University in 2015. Her research interests include: second language socialization, academic discourse socialization as well as ‘third space theory’ in intercultural communication. She majorly looks at the languaculture socialization of international Chinese undergraduates within the US higher education, including academic challenges, social interaction and cultural adjustment. Specifically, she focuses primarily on how social identities and cultural practices are brought into being through students’ linguistic interaction in the classroom. Ethnographic methodology has been adopted to investigate what cultural knowledge and practices may support or challenge Chinese international students’ experiences during their process of adaptation in a new learning milieu. She can be reached at jyu@education.ucsb.edu.